Work and Rewards

Do you remember that first big item you bought with your own money when you were still a kid? For me, my first car comes to mind. After saving up something like $1,600, my friend Dusty and I searched classifieds until we found a white Ford Escort across town. It was a basic car, but, as I drove it home, I remember thinking that this was mine, not from the generosity of my parents, but because I had logged hours bagging groceries at Hugo’s to afford it myself. It was satisfying. Maybe even empowering.

Willem and his new kayak

In past years, we’ve corralled the kids to help us on individual projects or when we wanted to make a big push out in the fields. I’ve always felt that the kids should be paid for their efforts on the farm because, unlike work in the house, farmwork is a business and should pay. In the past, I would normally say, “How about you help me weed this carrot bed and I’ll pay you $10?” Weeks would go by and I’d ask how much I owed them and nobody seemed to remember all the times and amounts.

This year, however, we’ve created a more formal system. We’ve instituted a standard rate of five dollars an hour and the kids keep track of all their hours on a chart on the fridge. Will has been especially motivated because he has been so keen on buying a kayak to paddle around our pond. After a couple months work, he researched and purchased the kayak himself. Sylvia, on the other hand, is a really penny-pincher, and only looking to stockpile even more funds for some future purchase. Graham has very modest goals such as saving up for a new lego set. When he reaches his $8 goal, he promptly walks out of the field and wants to spend his earnings the day of. Well, we all have our own goals right?

Maree has yet to see any payment for all the hours she’s logged 🙂


In the box:

  • Italian Parsley
  • Zucchini 
  • Kohlrabi: Peel, slice, salt, and eat. Pretty simple.
  • Snap Peas 
  • Radishes
  • Kale: See recipe below
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli Shoots
  • Garlic Scapes: Mince and use where ever you would use garlic.

Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing


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