BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT & BECAUSE THE RIVERSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET TOLD YOU TO
This past Saturday our family visited Countryside Produce, the farm of Devon and JoAnna Hostetler, in LaGrange, IN. Farmer Devon arranged the visit for all of his CSA (community supported agriculture) members. It was a lovely day and we were joined by about 20 other members –including the Bell family, also of Riverside. The Hostetler family is Amish and farms without chemicals or pesticides and uses horses to pull their farm equipment.
We first received a walking tour of the farm where we saw our future shares of food being grown. While everything looked terrific, the Brussels sprouts and tomatoes and going to be spectacular. We then took a wagon (with hay bales for seats) ride to an outer field. The wagon was pulled by two beautiful, massive Belgian draft horses. At that field, Farmer Devon explained that he has been planting corn every week so that we will have many successive weeks of corn. Yay! Next, friends of his family offered to give us horse and buggy rides –their main form of transportation. It was really fun and I was impressed at how sophisticated the buggys were despite being low-tech –the windows could be raised or lowered, there was a clock inside and the seats were plush. Who knew? Then the kids were treated to a candy hunt in an enormous pile of hay. It was really charming and it makes me wonder where I can get some hay for my younger son’s next birthday party… We then got a tour of their home. I didn’t know that the Amish could have indoor, modern bathrooms –again, who knew? Finally, our tour wrapped up with a communal “supper,” which we would call “lunch.” In addition to the hamburgers and hotdogs (not my thing), there was a beautiful crudite spread (all from the farm), salad (also from the farm), and five different kinds of homemade pie. We had a terrific time and my favorite part was when my son, Owen, said, looking out of one of the Hostetler children’s bedrooms, “These kids are lucky. I mean, they get to wake up and look at their farm every day.” Well said, Owen.