Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hay Ride

Today we went to the orchard for our pre Halloween outing. There is a local orchard near our home that has hay rides, pumpkins, apple cobbler and ice cream, cider all at no charge just for coming out. My wife and I have been going with our children since my oldest was just a baby. Usually we visit several times just to buy vegetables and fruit but this year with my traveling so much this was our first time out.

It has become so much a part of our family traditions that the farm seems almost like our own. The kids know that every year there will be puppies to hold and play with, yummy food, a hay maze to play in with lots of other kids. My wife and I shop for vegetables and enjoy the excellent cider. We carefully select the perfect pumpkins for our Jack-O-Lanterns and our pies. The hay ride is always the same driver, she has been doing it for a dozen years since before my daughter was born. She travels a long way just to do the hay rides each year. She has two big beautiful draft horses, who are real working animals. When they are not delighting children she has them plowing, hauling and pulling stumps on an organic farm of her own.

This year the farmer and his grandson joined us on the hay ride and we chatted and talked about the orchard and farm. One woman who had brought her grandchildren had been coming to the farm for forty years, before moving away. She had come back from the other side of the state just for a visit. Many like us had been coming our childrens whole lives and there were some who were coming for their first year and loving it. This one little family farm and orchard has touched the lives of so many people. It is this place and other family owned businesses that show me what community is all about.

Yes I will go to Wal-Mart or some other chain store to save money when I need to, but I always remember that there is more to consider than price. Service, quality, integrity, and community are all also considerations. I make a point of patronizing local businesses that have served me well whenever possible. I get my vegetables from my favorite farm. I buy my computers from the same shop I have been using for fifteen years. When I can afford it I buy my wines from a local vineyard, my seafood from the neighborhood fishmonger and meat from a local butcher. I can't always afford to do this and when I must I shop for the lowest price, however I know that if I do not support these local businesses when I can they will cease to exist and that would be a loss I would hate to suffer.

I would encourage everyone to explore your community owned farms and shops and see if there are some worthy of your business. If your community is anything like mine you may find that for a few extra dollars you can enrich rich your life many times over.


Tracy said...

Two years ago in January we had a freak tornado. Our orchard was blasted including quite a few houses and barns. It's only three miles from our house. I videotaped a report my kids did. It was live footage of the aftermath. They also made newspapers. I wish I could figure out how to upload the video and post it. It's a cassette recorder not disc. Sarah was the journalist and Adam the meteorologist.

Type this in, it will take you to the info about it. If you're interested in checking it out.

Tornadoes of January 7, 2008

Tracy said...

We also support our local businesses. :0)

Ryk said...

How sad, the pictures are just heartbreaking. I hope they have recovered somewhat.

We are fortunate that we don't really have extreme weather here and seldom see that sort of damage.

Tracy said...

It was heartbreaking.(And scary!)
They had mostly everything restored by the fall last year. They finished their house this past summer. I know some of the people that work there.
I'm so glad it skipped our town. It went through the farms instead. It would've wiped us out. Our businesses in our town are only on one block.

Tracy said...

According to your profile page you live in Egypt. I suppose they don't have extreme weather there.:0)

Ryk said...