We welcomed children from the Down Syndrome Charitable Association to Ennessi Farm
today, the first in our series of Field Trips. They greet me with big smiles and gentle hugs,
happy to take part in the action songs and sensory games. These 9 year olds find everything
remarkable: the heckling call of the roosters, the pungent smell of dill and fine bristle of
Chinese leaves. 16 pairs of hands dart into fresh compost, as beans are stuffed into pots and
proudly named for each child to take home.
In the fields, they stick together to begin with,but the urge to touch, squeeze and taste everything is too strong. Cherry tomatoes as sweet as jam, corn on the cob, mint leaves – everything is both familiar and strange, appealing to their senses and stretching their imaginations. In the chicken coop, there is a whoop of wild excitement, and again when we lever a massive lettuce from its bed.
During snack time the older children wash and chop their harvest to make our salad. All too soon their coach arrives, backpacks loaded, a final round of hugs and then they’re gone. Farming in the desert
is full of surprises. The unexpected rains last week may have chilled the soil for some of our
emergent seedlings, constraining their growth and altering the path of their existence. On an
organic farm, however, this difference goes unnoticed. Life is not always like that.