Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eat your veggies

As previously mentioned I spent some time clearing out the veggie garden on the weekend. 

It was bittersweet.

Lots of bunching onions - nice mild flavour

I seemed to have fallen so far short of my kingsolver-esque dreams of bounty and canning and vegetable self-sufficiency.  You can't even make one bottle of tomato sauce from my harvest..... and while our lettuces defied expectations (as did the kale) nothing else really did.  We actually grew 5 lbs of potatoes which is an accomplishment in itself.....but hardly self-sufficient in a family with as many Irish genes as ours!

But on we go..... determined that we can grow more stuff in the Fall.

With that in mind I headed over to a new little farm stall / farm that has emerged on the side of Steveston Hwy just a few blocks from our house.  I  love that we live in a village close to loads of farmland and yet only 20 minutes from a big City, 5 minutes from a beach and 45 minutes from a ski hill!

Urban Edibles is a great story and a great resource (if you are a local). Check them out here!  I can't wait to grow the broccoli, bok choy and lettuce I got from them.  And the local organic peaches I bought there were amazing! ( Tip: Take cash or cheque if you are shopping there!)

At work this week I read a documentation that my staff had done about the blackberry bushes in our yard.  The Educators and the children had several conversations about why the berries on the bush were different colours - green, red and black - there were some interesting theories but the Educators summarized them like this:
Educator’s Reflection and Interpretation

When I think about the children’s responses and ideas about how blackberries grow, I wonder how much they know about where the food we eat comes from. I can see from the conversations that some of them probably have done some gardening before, but it was amazing to see them actually analyzing the process. I was so glad we had the opportunity to observe something wild transforming in our own backyard. I also wonder if this will inspire conversations at home about the origins of the food the children eat, or inspire the children to grow their own food. It really is an everyday kind of magic.

Seeking Other’s Interpretations

I found the conversations between the children very interesting. Some of the children knew that the berries went from green to red to black and other’s thought that the red berries were raspberries. I grew up with berries in my back yard and I always really enjoyed watching them grow and of course eating them. It is great for our children to have the same experience here at daycare.
Allan is also in the process of writing a big paper for school on this emerging trend of people growing veggies for themselves, of community gardens and local farmers markets and the 100 mile diet etc.   It's so interesting that we see this all as innovative and emergent when really it harkens back to when folks had more land and less readily available grocery stores and worldwide produce shipping was not available.  What is remarkable is how quickly we got removed from our food production.  To the point that children don't know what berries look like on a bush as they are growing? 

I don't think we are really going back to those times of homesteading and self-sufficiency (although Allan and I dream of having some land one day) but I do love that my kids will know what vegetables look like when you grow them yourself and what effort goes into growing food.

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