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Food=Treasure

September 26, 2009

picking montage

Yesterday as we were picking sauce tomatoes at one of our local u-pick farms, my two younger ones had to go to the bathroom and as they ran off to the porta-potty, they yelled something that, as I thought about it for a minute, made me realize something that I already knew, but hadn’t fully formed into a conscious thought before.  They hollered, “Don’t let anyone steal our bucket.”  As if the couple ladies in their seventies who we saw earlier in the fields were planning on taking their pickings the minute they left!  But, this statement made me think about the fact that they didn’t care about the actual plastic, five gallon bucket.  They cared that they had put time and care into picking it’s contents.  To them, these brilliant, warm and shiny tomatoes were treasure.  They were fruits that they had to crouch down and look for, feel that they were ripe and then pull them off and deposit them into the bucket without damaging them.  And it became clear to me what a gift it is to my girls that they head out with me to u-pick fields all summer and early fall, head to our milk farm weekly and visit some of our meat before it becomes dinner.  To them food isn’t a substance that appears in our pantry, via the grocery store.  They are well aware that food is not so easily gotten.  Somebody works to pick it and package it, even if it isn’t us.

My kids aren’t angels and they don’t savor each bite of food, dutifully clean their plates with thoughts of the waste that could be if they throw some out or make sure to serve only what they will eat at each meal.  They do, however, have a sound knowledge that food is precious to some degree.  That it was raised and slaughtered by someone; it was grown and harvested and packed by someone and then it is cooked by someone.  That if it isn’t raised, harvested and prepared with care and concern, that it is likely not as healthy and even tastes less real.  They have the knowledge that good food costs more, either in time or in money.  M. especially, frequently comments on the price of food and what you are getting in return.  As we drive by fast food restaurants, she has commented, “How can they sell a burrito with real beef for $.99?”  That is a good question.

I’m so glad that the way we are choosing to live and eat is becoming deeply ingrained in my children.  I hope that they will continue with this train of thought as they mature and start their own lives in the future.  Right now, M. wants to be a farmer, and possibly operate a small restaurant.  I. wants to be the next Alice Waters and operate a restaurant.  If they actually did that, I would be so proud of them.  Good farmers and purveyors of high quality, nutritious food are our future.  If they choose a different path, that is fine with me, too.  I want them to imagine the things they can do and then accomplish what they set out to do and ultimately be happy.  I think that part of being happy is being healthy and I hope to encourage that as much as possible.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    September 27, 2009 8:27 am

    Wonderful post. I am so glad your girls are learning this important lesson from you. It will stand them in good steaad no matter what course they choose.

  2. Adriana permalink
    September 27, 2009 11:12 pm

    If they open that restaurant, I will make a permanent home in that restaurant. 🙂

  3. October 7, 2009 7:48 am

    I know how cool is that!!!!!!!

    Though I think I’m raising mini food snobs at the same time

  4. October 7, 2009 7:56 am

    I’m totally okay with raising food snobs if it means that they know what real food is and they are healthier! As long as they aren’t rude about it, it’s fine with me!

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