“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?”
–Thornton Wilder, Our Town
This question often lurks in mind as I go about the dailies of being a stay-at-home mom. The other day while on a walk with my boys, my 4 year old trotted ahead on his bike and I noticed him pause at a muddy ball field. He soon ventured out, squealing with delight as the wheels slid effortlessly through the grass, spraying him with mud. He begged, “Please mom, can we stay?!” And I had to physically stop my instinctual response (“No, we’re going!”) and ask myself if this was a Thornton moment worth missing.
But I have found one setting that allows me to effortlessly “realize life” while I am in it, and it never fails: the farm. I rarely am turned down if I invite a friend to join us. Being close to the primitive sources of life is absolutely cathartic.
While I knew Eugene well as a college student, I left in 2005 for a job. I have recently returned, and am rediscovering my city through a mother’s eyes. The one thing I know is that we would be amiss to only haul our kids out to the farm for pumpkins in the fall. It’s June; the strawberries are ready! So over the summer, my kids and I will visit different farms and will commit to learn the various ways we can partner with the food-to-table movement deepening throughout Lane County.
Lone Pine Farms, Junction City. open daily May-October, 9am-7pm
Lone Pine is a farm stand that offers produce and products from Northwest farmers and vendors at a very reasonable price. You can shop their market, pick from their seasonal crops (currently there are no-spray strawberries and flowers), visit farm animals, and enjoy the many opportunities to play with your kids.
Humm Kombucha, Cafeto Organic coffee, and Breadfarm baked goods are among their local offerings. They also have the best prices on handmade Ghana baskets I have ever seen. Make time to relish a treat while you’re there: Umpqua ice cream, homemade pie, or our family’s favorite, a huckleberry cream cheese cinnamon roll.
There is lots to discover with young children at Lone Pine on any given day: an updated, fenced play area, an outdoor picnic area, a gold panning adventure (extra fee), goat feeding (costs a quarter per bucketful of feed, although resourceful kiddos scrounge through the gravel for pieces of dropped feed), and saying “hello” to the sheep, chicken and their babies.
Christy Rice is a mom to two great boys. They love to explore all that Lane County has to offer & will be sharing their adventures with GoMomGo! Hooray!