Spring in Delft, Netherlands
My Facebook feed is full of last day of school pictures from my U.S. friends but here in the Netherlands it is business as usual. Our Summer holiday doesn’t start until mid-July. The temperatures this year have been fluctuating between ‘grab your summer coat’ and ‘run through the sprinklers’ for the last few days. Meanwhile the animals around us are all having their babies, telling us we are firmly in Spring. We headed to the market and the farm this weekend to enjoy all Delft has to offer in the Spring.
We had some fun playing with filters on my phone while Jeff and the Middle Little picked up fruit at the market. I love the hustle and bustle of market day in the city. There are tourists milling around checking out the market and we typically bump into most of our friends doing their shopping. It always reminds me how small Delft really is.
The boys each got to choose a banana or an apple from the fruit vendor. Everyone at the market loves giving little treats to the kids. We joke that they can have a full lunch shopping with us. They enjoy their treat against the building while we finish up our shopping. And boy was the shopping good. Since lots of fruits and vegetables are in season, the pickings are good and cheap! Artichokes were one Euro, cherry tomatoes were 1.5 Euros per kilo and clamshells of raspberries were one Euro each.
Jeff popped into the Verkade & Jacques, a gourmet grocery store, to pick up some sandwiches for a picnic. (We also love Holtkamp Delft for pick-up sandwiches.) The Little Little was having none of waiting in line for sandwiches so instead we went for a little walk around town. The Big Little loves to wander down “the street with flags.”
The Big Little loves street art. He is always asking about finding it and I think this one appeals to him because it’s tucked into an alley. (DelftMama, an expat organization I work with here is working on a mosaic for a local playground. You can read more about their Crowdfunding efforts here.)
The Big Little found a feather and pretended to be painting it himself.
We loaded up the bikes and headed out for our picnic in the Delftse Hout. This time of year Bakfiets riding is complicated because all the tourists like to take a look. Today a whole group stood behind us while I was backing out, taking pictures and waving at the boys.
We had a lovely little picnic with all our market finds against the lake. The boys ran around playing with sticks and our Little Little ate a full clamshell of raspberries.
Then we headed to Hoeve Biesland to pick up our milk. Visits here never get old. Our Big Little now goes into the shop on his own with the money to pay for our milk. He chats in Dutch to whomever is running the store. The Middle Little wanted to buy something too so we sent him in to purchase this amazing cranberry bread made by the bakery that is moving onto the farm. While Jeff took the Middle Little to fill up the milk jugs, the Big Little agreed to help feed the chickens.
He took the crate of carrot tops over to the chicken coop and fed the chickens. With some encouragement he even invited another family visiting the farm to help him. (We also discussed with the shop owner today how you can make pesto with carrot tops. I came home and am going to try this recipe from Food Network with our carrot tops.)
As has been the case the last few weekends when we have been at the farm, the farmer’s wife came out and asked if the boys wanted to help feed the little lambs. The Big Little in particular has gotten quite good at wrangling the lambs while they get their bottle. Jeff helped the boys lift the lambs back over the fence when they were finished.
There are babies galore at the farm this time of year including a brand new puppy – Jack! He is the cutest thing I have ever seen. The Little Little was so happy getting some puppy kisses. (Research has found these dog kisses may actually prevent allergies!) I can’t wait to go back and see Jack again!
There are baby chicks in the crate in the yard. They were moving around and making lots of noise, which makes them an instant favorite with the kids.
Finally we headed over to see the baby pigs. They are already bigger than last week! There are two litters and we counted 16 piglets between the two pens.
I mean…come on how cute is this? Sigh. Our Big Little actually said “I wish all these babies were in our backyard!” We quickly reminded him they basically were and that he can ride his bike all the way here! (Watch a video of the Big Little’s first bike ride to the farm, from a few weeks ago here.)
If you’re in Delft head over to Hoeve Biesland before these cute littles get big! If you’re not near Delft I’m always posting photos of our Delft adventures on Instagram. The market and the farm are two of our favorite things about living here! I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of them.
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