Amidst our new reality of social distancing and staying at home, I have found myself feeling incredibly lucky to have a six year old in my life. He is 100% joy, eager to join me on any task and adventure with spring-loaded excitement.

Yesterday he helped me do some weeding and would scream with glee every time he found a worm. By the end of the day, he had located ten worms and transplanted them to our new garden in the backyard to be “fertilizers.”

He has no idea how his curiosity and outlook on the world is helping me keep perspective these days. He reminds me to slow down, immerse myself in every moment, and appreciate what surrounds me.

This six year old has been witnessing me working from home, occasionally popping his head in on virtual meetings and a welcome interruption to show me his latest lego creation. He is keenly aware that my job has to do with vegetables and is a big fan of sugar snap pea season. He’s also aware that things aren’t quite normal right now and that people are working in different ways to get by.

He is so in tune with his surroundings that he tailored his recent birthday gift to me in the most meaningful way.

He made me a watercolor painting, and his dad helped him frame it. When he described what he had painted for me, my eyes welled up and I could feel a literal shift in my heart.

He painted a basket of vegetables, surrounded by a wave. The red blob on the right is our Countryside chicken and up in the sky are a bird and a bee. He took his time to sketch it all out before he painted, studying our chicken logo and paying careful attention to the vegetable details. This triggered some serious emotions of monumental proportions.

This kid gets it. He doesn’t know how much it means to me, but the message in this painting is inspirational and timely. For all of us who are still fighting the good fight to support local farms and food entrepreneurs, whether it’s by planting seeds, buying produce from a farmer, or being an encouraging voice, know that even this six year old sees the value of vegetables and believes in the importance of keeping our local food system afloat.

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