Thursday, May 26, 2011

Real Food and False Calories

On our way to school the other day, my youngest son and I were talking about the Farmer's Market. He doesn't understand why I enjoy holding the vegetables, smelling the tomatoes and admiring a particular apple. I tried explaining why small farmers are necessary, but B is firmly camped in the world of Sonic The Hedgehog and all things Play Station. So he doesn't "get" my fascination with bio-intensive gardening, seed saving and composting.

I hope to introduce him to the world of fresh potatoes soon. The ones you pull from the soil, wash off and eat within two hours. I hope I can convince him that a pea inside a long green pod is pretty much the same as the ones in a can, only better tasting and much more real.. The biggest problem is that he isn't really into fruits and veggies. S, however, seems to be leaning toward gardening. He is quick to volunteer to help me plant, is always concerned about how much water the plants are getting, and has input on what we plant next. He helped me plant seeds a couple of weeks ago, and then did his best to save some lettuce seedlings after the beagle sat on the corner of a pot and knocked the whole thing over. (S seems to have saved them. We have quite a few sprouts growing haphazardly toward the sun) But I'm thinking this seed crisis of his may be the basis of a new relationship with his food. It's not easy to get kids thinking about what's on their forks. Especially on a limited budget, in the city, in the spring before a whole lot is ready to harvest.

I am resolved to teach them what I can and have them along for the journey as much as I can. I will teach them what I learn about wild food, domestic food, real food and false calories. I will teach them how the parks and trails can feed them better than McDonalds can.
I know I have a long road ahead, especially with B. But I have to have faith that if I hang in there, my children will learn to appreciate the difference between a real vegetable and a colourful lump in the grocery store.

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