Brenda Starr and I went for a walk on Saturday.
We didn't know that we'd end up amidst farm animals and a squash arbor.
Sometimes the best days are serendipitous, don't you think?
Neither of us is ready to cover long distances, but we were game to try. The Rillito River Path has convenient parking and a fairly flat terrain. Plus, it's paved, which makes tripping and slipping less likely. We are both grateful for those kinds of surfaces. True Tucsonans, we knew that there would be nothing but scrub brush in the river bed; it's wet only when the snow melt sends water racing down the mountains. In November, after a fairly dry monsoon, there were doggies and horses and runners cruising through the sand.
Brenda Starr and I walked safely above them, admiring their splendor as we chatted. And splendid they were, the young blond girl riding her pure white stallion bareback, the brindle boxer snuffling through the underbrush, the parents cradling their infant. Sunny Saturday mornings are often times of quiet despair for me; being out and about with a new friend helped me put the past into perspective.
We had an interesting perspective on the Master Gardener's piece of the UofA's Cooperative Extension grounds. The path winds behind the gardens, and it was easy to see, through the fence, that there was a great deal of activity going on in a usually peaceful place.
Inquiring strollers needed to investigate.
We found a Farm in our Village.
We walked under the squash arbor
pausing for photographs
and wondering why we'd never thought of this idea ourselves.
Mr. 8 is interested in growing his own curcubits; perhaps I'll ask the Fire Chief to build us an arbor instead of a raised bed. I wonder if watermelons (Mr. 8's plant of choice) will work as well as the squash.
The Village Farm shows children that food is grown, not created in plastic in a factory..
They gave technical tips on improving taste
and stunned us with surprising facts.
True to the 4H mission
the Village Farm encourages the home use of the laboratory's research.
They made it easy to get started,
with pint sized tools
and Village Farm starters.
It was possible to pose for pictures, too.
There was music
and there were helpers for the pretzel making,
ready to be baked in the horno, an adobe oven.
Unfortunately, the line was long and there were none ready to taste.
We had to make our own.
That was the point of the festivities, after all.
Cooperative Extension brings the laboratory to the home; they are a participatory group.
Heifer International was there,
showcasing cow poop
and insect cookies
and, NO THANK YOU,
we would not like to try one.
The worm pit, on the other hand, was quite simply wonderful.
To those of you who live with soil beneath your plants, this may not look like much.
For those of us who try to garden in dirt, it was a moment of pure heaven.
We walked back to the parking lot and our two, little, white cars,
which had not managed to mate and create a baby Audi TT while we were gone,
and made plans for our next adventure.
I went off to Pilates with this pinned to my chest.
It was a wonderful sunny Saturday morning.