It can be an oasis of simple satisfaction and education in our fast-moving culture.
The Lamorinda 4-H Club is growing amid the onslaught in our society of hand-held devices and instant communication.
The club is only 8 years old, but it has expanded to more than 200 members, one of the larger 4-H organizations in Contra Costa County.
The club's members range from kindergarten to 12th grade and membership coincides with the school year. The club is still accepting applications for this year through Nov. 21.
The organization centers around the farm and it has a number of specialities its young members can focus on. They include horses, dogs, poultry, swine, beekeeping, cake decorating, rocket science, photography and even shooting for members who are at least 9 years old.
They participate in a number of activities during the year ranging from county fairs to community service days to individual projects.
"More and more people are becoming attracted to 4-H," said Michelle Chan, one of the club's parent volunteers. "It's giving kids the chance to be close to Earth."
Chan's 16-year-old daughter Jenn is the co-president of the Lamorinda club. She joined because her older siblings were members and has found 4-H to be a refreshing alternative.
"There's a lot of different activities and kids can just be themselves," the Acalanes High School student said.
Mary Halpin signed up her daughter Kate a month ago as an alternative to sports. She likes how the youngsters are in charge of the organization, running the meetings and organizing the programs.
"It's building community and it's a child-led organization," she said.
The Lamorinda 4-H members had their skills on display on Sunday at Mangini Farms in Pleasant Hill.
It was Louis Mangini's 90th birthday and he let the club take over his pumpkin patch for a day.
The 4-H members set up small petting zoos and allowed youngsters to get up close to two of their horses.
They also sold cupcakes and other items to raise money for their organization.
The members in the cake decorating group also baked Mangini a birthday cake.