September 8, 2009

Learn to Earn, Earn to Learn

A College Savings Journey
by Jean Hoiland

My son Brennan (6 years old) and I were busy this summer manifesting college credits, and following through with the plans described in the Roomanski Tale of veggies door to door. Three months from the original posting of our garden story the veggies are growing out our ears. We started with bags of spinach and progressed to a cart filled with kale, carrots, rhubarb, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, eggplant, green beans, sweet peas, tomatoes, parsley and basil.

Our neighbors have been fabulous and eager to support our "learn to earn, earn to learn" endeavor. My fledgling entrepreneur hasn't always been very cooperative but in the last few weeks has certainly come a long way. We have both learned valuable lessons down the path to ensuring a college education.

Lessons I learned from my son.

  1. "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit". I'm not sure where he heard the saying but it has stuck with him and he uses it....on me of course. Translation - don't expect too much. He is 6 and very normal for his age. The attention spam can be fleeting and delivery may be weekly or who knows we might hit the pavement twice in one week and not at all the next. Fortunately as a parent my yoga skills come in handy and I am pretty adept at going with the flow.

  2. "Whatever you think it is worth". He learned very quickly that some of the neighbors think home grown fresh produce is worth more than other's do. He tends to stop first at the neighbors who tip for the delivery. He loves going to see 'Don and Geneva'. They know he likes getting the quarters with states on them and make sure to have some handy for tipping.

  3. "That's it, no more houses". The melt down after only one house. That means I got carried away in the garden picking and weeding forgot about the time....and neglected to make sure my son had a snack before heading across the street. I've done this to the poor boy on more than one occasion.

  4. "It will be way more fun if Hunter comes with me". Brennan's best friend. He has eggs. Won't our neighbors be happy when they hear the news. Let's hope his mom (one of my best friends) is willing to get more chickens. I have to agree, it is way more fun sharing with friends.

  5. "Let's cut stuff up for taste testing". His 'aha' moment last week as he flew back into the corn after the carrots finally released from the dirt. He went running into the house to wash and cut a few carrots for his customers to try before buying. This week we are making a 'Kale, beet salad'. Never underestimate the intelligence of children.

We have many more weeks of fresh produce and time visiting with our neighbors. I have to admit I am way more into this than my son. I love digging in the dirt, and socializing with the neighbors. I'd like to put a commercial kitchen in our garage and host neighborhood meals, cooking classes and block parties. Sshhh, don't tell my mom and dad they would have a fit.

I hope my son appreciates the things we grow. I think he does, I hope he does, and I know, he is only 6, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit". I'm off to practice some yoga now and release my expectations... then I am launching an email to my nephew to make sure he is coming to help me tear down the old green houses and make room for some new.

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