We call it Farm Stewardship

 

Summer at Alligator Hall is kid-heaven (at least that’s the way I remember it!).  Swims out to the sand bar in the river, crabbing in the ponds, Sunday afternoon softball games, early morning trail rides…

 

But there’s the work part too. So maybe that’s not first on the fun-list for kids out here, but think about it, many of us have memories of “forced marches” by our parents/grandparents or someone who made us work on something…and it turned out to be rewarding. That’s the way it works here. The plantation has over two hundred years of history and our job is to be good stewards of this remarkable place. SO…we have what we call Farm Stewardship projects. Our final project this summer: clean up what we call Main Gate. Believe me, it started as a forced march.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

 

Charming kids, arent they? Happy too.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

 

Summer down here in the Lowcountry is known for a little humidity — okay, a lot of humidity. And with that comes a jungle of growth of just about everything – especially the creeping fig on the brick gates.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

 

Mildew loves this weather…so the pretty white fences turn green easily — nothing a little bleach and rubber gloves can’t fix.

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

See? Still smiling.

Ahem.

 

Now the iron jockeys were another story. Now mom was on the forced-march, and the kids were delighted to hear me grumble. (Did I mention it was humid?)

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

 

I’ve decided to go public with the fact that I hate sanding. The painting is okay by me, but the sanding part I’d prefer to hand off. But interestingly there wasn’t anyone who wanted the job. Huh.

 

Here’s the good part. We got there. Fences pristine, shrubs pruned and happy, jockeys painted — but best of all, kids happy and feeling good about what they could see they had done. In a morning, the kids transformed the front entrance of the plantation – a REAL accomplishment – and they knew it.

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Farm Stewardship, family, work on the farm

 

Funny. I think the rewards were what I remember so well as the wonderful part of summer. Nah, it’s all fun — just ask my kids.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, boating, lowcountry, South Carolina, farm stewardshipThe reward this year: a combo fishing/tubing afternoon on the river. Worked for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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