By the next week, it was obvious that the communards really liked the new kitten, who was now being called Inky, even if Carrie didn’t. The mood as spring came into full bloom at the farm was one of toleration. Sally was tolerating having Bobby around, Carrie was tolerating having Inky around, and the construction crew was tolerating having Dan and Sal around.
And Luna was hoping that the three new BBAAers that had been accepted to live at the commune would come with less problems.
Winter arrived first.
Winter had long, wavy hair, a beautiful smile, and wore flowing flowery garments in lovely pastels. He was quite good looking.
“I like growing herbs,” he said. “And mushrooms. Do you sprout stuff?”
“We sprout and kraut,” Viv said. “This is a very green friendly farm.”
Angel arrived just a bit after Winter. Unlike Winter’s lovely loose garb, Angel wore no nonsense overalls and came ready to work.
But before Viv and Luna had a chance to get Angel set up out in the fields, Bob, the third BBAAer, arrived. Bob was an older gentleman with a long white beard who looked like he had spent most of his life farming.
“Alright, you two,” Luna said, after Bob and Angel got acquainted. “Let me show you where we’re working.”
Viv and Luna led Angel and Bob to where Chuck, Patsy, and Sally were weeding and checking on the progress of the new crops. They quickly joined the crew. Winter was already at work with Birch in the EcoGreenHouse, where Birch was showing Winter the mushrooms he was harvesting, and Winter was talking with Birch about herbal helices.
“Not a bad start to the season,” Viv said to Luna.
“Yeah,” Luna said. “Let’s hope there’s no problems with this crew.”
As they worked, Bob told the rest of the crew tales from his sixty-six years worth of farm stories.
“Yup,” he said. “Started farming when I was five.”
“Hey, me too!” Luna said. “Though, I think you’ve been doing it a bit longer than me.”
“Sure ‘nuff, little girl. That would be about nineteen fifty. My folks owned a place in Wisconsin. I drove a tractor using blocks.”
“Oh, wow,” said Luna. “I used old circus stilts.”
“Stilts, huh,” Bob said. “That’s cool. Maybe I would have used them if we had them around. Did your folks make you do that stuff?”
“Nope. I figured it out all on my own. I wanted to drive a tractor.”
“Oh, man. I didn’t want to drive a tractor. I wanted to play. I wanted to be playing ball with my friends--instead I ended up driving that tractor. I didn’t even like farming until I was nineteen. Of course that was fifty years ago, so I’ve been grooving on farming for a long time.”
“So why did you end up coming out here?” Chuck asked.
“I ended up getting a place not far from here, oh, about forty years back,” Bob said. “Just lost the place, unfortunately. My kids sold it to the state which I guess wants to build some big office building there with a huge parking lot. My kids seem to think I’m too old for farming.”
“Well, you’re the oldest BBAAer I know of,” said Luna.
“You’re never too old to learn something new,” said Bob.
“True enough,” Angel said. “That’s why I came here. I want to farm, I want to learn, I want to be part of something bigger than myself.”
“Yeah,” said Patsy. “There’s nothing like getting down into the soil to make you feel like you’re part of this giant earth organism.”
“Alright,” Chuck said. “This giant earth organism. Me and the earth, we got something going.”
“Oh, yeah,” Bob said. “I remember when the first Earth Day came around. I was like, huh, I thought everyday was earth day. It sure is when you’re a farmer.”