For the last 5 years, my hubby and I have been learning how to grow our own food. It has been a process of trial and error, some years yielding close to nothing and some years, we are begging people to take some home! There are quite a few things that we haven’t quite figured out yet and succession plantings to prolong harvest and not having everything ready at the same time is definitely one of them!
So every year, we have a heavy start to the season, then a lull, then a heavy mid-to-late summer showing, then slim pickings. We are slowly getting the hang of it, but not so much so that we would bet our livelihood on it yet. And with two young children, fresh organic veggies is even more important than ever.
That is why we team up with one of our local organic farmers to receive an organic basket every week. For what I consider to be a ridiculously low fee (about 400$ for a family of 4), we will be picking up a weekly basket of seasonal organic goods from late June to mid-November! 20 weeks total. That is 20$ a week and the drop point is less than 5 minutes drive from our home.
Just to give you an idea, this was our 4th basket (we picked it up today).
** As you can tell, half of the cherry tomatoes didn’t make it home! **
To mirror my friend Kim’s post about “Life lessons”, one of the reasons why it’s so important for me to participate in programs like this and to go to farmer’s markets and local farms is for my kids to know where their food comes from. I remember once watching a documentary where grade school kids (8 and 9 years old) were asked where their food came from. All of them answered “the grocery store”. I wasn’t a mom then, but I had started on the 100-mile diet challenge and I had promised myself never in my home!
So, although we do still buy food from the grocery store, my daughter (and my son one day) can tell you what organic is, she can tell you what a GMO is (in her little 4yo way), why we try to buy local year round and what grows from the earth. We have 2 farms close by that supply us with eggs and every time we stop by, she steps out of the car and goes to thank the chickens for feeding us. She also knows how to recognize happy chickens and will tell us if she is suspicious of mistreatment. (We had one farm we visited where the chickens were kept inside… my daughter didn’t like that at all.)
And every time we pick up our organic baskets, she runs to the stall singing “I’m so excited!”… The farmer that greets us knows us by name. She hands him back the bags and cardboard crates from the previous week and proceeds to happily pick her favorite veggies and put them in our bag. And before leaving, she always turns to our new friend and thanks him, already excited about coming back in one week.
This, among many other things, will define me in my role as a mother. This knowledge of the world and how we are all one big interconnected web of life. We all have different values, and we try so hard to instill them in our children. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but all we can do is to keep trying and hope that our voice and intentions are stored somewhere, ready to be brought up one day. But what they learn will stay learned. No matter how they choose to live, the information is there for them to use. And that will have to be alright for now.
Good night everyone…