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Filling Our Buckets

Have you filled a bucket today? We regularly fill little blue produce buckets with tomatoes and raspberries, large bins with squash and peppers, and pitchers and buckets with beautiful flowers for market bouquets.

We are always toting things around on the farm. Sometimes we don’t have enough of something to quite fill them up, and other times they’re overflowing and spill over. Everyone on the team has differing abilities for picking, harvesting, and carrying, and we work well together to balance out what we can do.

While picking zinnias for market bouquets this week, a member of the farm team asked a colleague if they knew what “Filling Your Bucket” meant. The reply: “You mean filling a bucket with water or flowers?”

The team member proceeded to share a beautiful children’s story by Carol McCloud, which focuses on the metaphor of a bucket and a dipper: Each person has an invisible bucket that can be filled by others - or by themselves - with kindness, compassion and things that bring them joy. Filling others’ buckets makes the world a better place, while doing or saying mean things constitutes dipping into others’ buckets. You can also use a lid to protect your bucket or the bucket of others from a “dipper.”

This was a new concept to at least one member of the team, who asked those nearby, “Well then, what fills your bucket?”

Hugs and hummingbirds, said one. (Cue the spontaneous group hug…)

Sports, said another.

Hugs and Jesus, said a third.

“How about you, Ms. Allison? Oh, wait, that’s easy: Monarch butterflies, honeybees, gardening, working here…”

The actual buckets and pitchers were full of flowers by this point, but the understanding, empathy and self-awareness were overflowing among those having this discussion. It was an honor to witness it, especially the acknowledgment that we all have the ability to fill our own bucket with thoughts and feelings that bring us peace and joy.

So…what will you do to fill your bucket this week?

With gratitude and appreciation,

Allison Schumacher

Farm Manager



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