When we moved to our current farm back in 2003, something was missing. Our farm isn’t overly large at 38 acres, but when you consider that at any given moment you could be ¼ mile away from home, Joelle and I needed an effective way to get the attention of the farmhands (AKA our children). This old house probably at one time or another had a “triangle or bell” to announce it was time for dinner, but it wasn’t obvious where it would have been.
We decided on a big cast iron bell that I tracked down from Pennsylvania. It has a clear and loud ring and has been mounted on the back porch ever since. The bell itself has been relegated to ceremonial use or the occasional ringing as one walks by. It is just a sign of the times. The bell has been mostly replaced by cell phones, and sadly, even on the farm, electronics have a stronger pull than the great outdoors.
A few years ago, if we wanted to announce it was dinner time, instead of ringing the bell, we would just unplug the Wi-Fi and everyone at the farm would “magically” appear 🙂 But even today, unplugging the Wi-Fi isn’t as effective as it used to be, because everyone has access to unlimited cellular data! Alas, the dinner bell is more akin to a group text!
This weekend the Farm came alive. We have a been plugging away, but mostly at idle for the last month. This weekend it shifted to another level. And you know what? No one was late for dinner, because they had all worked up a ferocious appetite.
Bell, triangle, or your stomach calling. Whatever. But, eating at least one meal a day together is good for the soul.
Farmer, Health Advocate