You may be wondering how my long-awaited CSA pickup went yesterday.
Picture this. It’s been a day of unrelenting rain, but as the kids and I approach the downhill slope leading to the tent, it suddenly stops. The sun peeks through the clouds. A giant rainbow forms before my very eyes. The 2008 Summer CSA Theme Song is playing in my head at top volume. The kids start running down the hill. I catch sight of the Farmer, so I start running, too. The kids fall down. I hurdle right over them. And then, just as I’m about to launch myself into the Farmer’s unsuspecting arms (cue sound of record player needle scratching across vinyl), another CSA member starts talking to me, blocking my trajectory.
Well, I didn’t want to be rude, so we exchanged pleasantries. But all the while, I could sense the Farmer withdrawing and eventually disappear. No, wait. Come back. He did eventually come back, but our long and passionate embrace only took place in my mind. So, yeah, it’s pretty hard to live up to my expectations at this point.
I was bagging my 4 heads of lettuce, bok choy, radishes, and spinach, when I noticed a bright red ladybug on one of the leaves. I quickly handed it over to the Preschooler, for he loves insects with a fervor that even I would find hard to understand. He ran over to show the Farmer who, in his calm way, suggested that he leave the ladybug on the farm to do his good work eating aphids.
I could tell by the crestfallen expression on the Preschooler’s face that this was never part of his agenda. He planned to add the ladybug to his cache of inchworms he collected over the weekend, along with some woodlice and a shield bug I captured for him yesterday, and we would all live happily ever after in a house infested with bugs.
There was no way around it. I would have to take sides. But whose? In one corner was the Preschooler doing his best not to burst into tears while I made a convincing argument for letting the ladybug go. In the other corner was the Farmer looking particularly devastating. Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Why, yes. Yes, it does.
I ran some quick numbers in my head, and the Preschooler kept coming out on top. I banged on my calculator really hard, but numbers are numbers. We would be taking the ladybug home no matter what. How many aphids can one ladybug eat, anyway? (Note: turns out ladybugs can eat as many as 50 aphids per day. Crap.) Still, I got the Preschooler’s back while he absconded with his prisoner.
On the drive home, I brokered the following deal. We’d keep the ladybug for a week, feeding him aphids from our spinach, and if he survived the noise and chaos of our home, we’d return him to the farm next week.
Or. Or maybe I’ll hold that ladybug hostage until some ransom demands are met.