This is the tenth in a series of posts on Happyday Farms, the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) located up here on Bell Springs Road, run by Casey, Amber, Lito and Courtney.
No Juice-Just a Cup
“They come because they seek a sense of community.” I wrote this in the last post called Rocking the Quarry [ http://markyswrite.blogspot.com/2014/05/happyday-farms-rocking-quarry.html ] when I was discussing the farmers’ market conducted each week at the rock quarry, four miles up Bell Springs Road.
One convincing element is the kids. Kids have the run of the spot, scrambling around the quarry, intent on having fun. There is such an expansive arena in which they can roam, there is no shortage of action. As through traffic passes by, it must slow, simply from the profound transformation of the landscape.
Removed is the graveled road, and the widened, mostly-barren rock quarry on the east side of the thoroughfare, and the dust-covered fir trees lining the west side of the road. In their places is a cornucopia of vehicles, most of them four-wheel-drive, and clusters of people, dressed in every conceivable style.
Adding to the landscape, on the south end of the arena, is a series of stations or booths, where fresh, organic produce, baked goods, prepared food, beverages and other farmers’ market fare is sold. And everywhere, there are the kids, who illustrate for us all, what it was like to be able to run around with unlimited energy. I remember all that energy, even as it requires an inordinate amount of energy to leave the house in the middle of the afternoon these days.
For people on the mountain, it’s a given that the kids would join in on this event; it was invented for kids. As they clamber up the rocky side of the quarry, the oldsters will wag their gray heads and wonder how parents can allow their kids to run around like that.
But even this old graybeard remembers going to a rare gathering of the O’Neill clan in SoCal, located at an expansive park out in the direction of San Bernardino, where I had the opportunity to scramble up the side of what seemed like a mountain. I was probably about ten and inexplicably on the loose. Living in the flatlands of the San Gabriel Valley at the time, “climbing” up this lightly-wooded hillside, all by myself, was an exhilarating experience.
Of course, the kids cannot climb up the side of the quarry that is precipitously steep, but on the south side, up behind the booths, is a lightly-wooded hillside, which allows kids to feel as though they are scaling something big.
I mentioned in Rocking the Quarry that I operated a mini-organic juice/fizzy water bar last summer and that it was very lightweight. If I actually made enough to pay off the ingredients and the ice, then I figured I was lucky. I did not get lucky that often last summer. The booth had been operated by some member of the Matt/Charly clan for the past many seasons, but they were ready to relinquish their role in the operation.
Now, I always help Annie with both the math of adding up her baked goods, plus dealing with the making-change element. Annie relies on me for this because I’m good at it and it’s one less thing she has to worry about while trying to keep one step ahead of the action. So my little mini-juice bar was situated right alongside of her table of baked goods.
One particularly toasty July Wednesday the Q was livelier than usual and the kids were everywhere, getting their faces painted, pestering parents for money, scaling the sides of the hills, and working their faces into a rosy red sheen, as they ignored the July heat.
I had a steady stream of little munchkins come past my stand, each asking me if they could borrow a cup. They did not want juice-only a cup. Now I had about forty of these giant cups, but I had also fortified my stand, after the first week, with a dozen or so kids-sized cups, less than half the size of the big cups. So I was able to provide them with a cup apiece, and still have plenty should one actually do something weird, like buy a fizzy juice drink.
After the fourth or fifth one stopped by asking for a cup, I finally asked the little tyke in front of me, what she was going to put in the cup.
“Water!” she announced happily.
“Where are you getting the water?” I inquired, simply out of curiosity.
“From Davy!” she replied, as though I were just a little dense.
“Davy?” I asked, blankly.
“Sure. He’s got a whole cooler full of water but no cups.”
But that’s one of the most incredible things about the quarry. Here’s Davy, savvy enough to know that even though the adults will all have a beverage in their hands, all those kids roaming around the arena, would not. It just so happened that I had a bunch of cups looking for some water. What could be more natural?
A match made in the quarry.