Friday, August 22, 2008

Local foods at their best.


It is that time of year. Gardens and farms are bursting with life, and we are picking, canning, freezing, baking and cooking. The boys love all aspects of this part of our summer. The weekly drive to the farm for our CSA share pickup, the morning rituals of visiting the garden to pick and water and gaze, the stops at our favorite farm stands to get just picked sweet corn or melons. The mountains of produce in our dining room and kitchen which need to be cleaned and cut and prepped. All reminding us where our food comes from, and that we are a part of this cycle.


The table in the very top photo is from yesterday. We picked up our CSA share and visited two farms on the way home - both with awesome farm stands. The first stop was for sweet corn and apples. This farmer came out to chat with the boys and let the them walk around and pet his groundhog, donkeys and goats. Our second stop was to a beautifully organized organic farm where we picked up some amazing mushrooms, beans, onions, and flowers.. The boys looked around and climbed some rocks as we chatted a bit with the farmer there before heading home.


The table also has what we picked yesterday - TONS of cucumbers, tomatoes and beans. We have been getting at least a basket full from the garden each day. The boys love walking through and picking, taking turns holding the basket, peeking for the hidden treasures. That is the best time to bird watch too, as our feathered friends are not so worried about our presence, and swoop, drink, eat and sing to us as we walk our tiny yard.

Each time we visit a farm the boys want to stay. They know each place we visit by identifying landmarks - this barn, that sign, this stream, those trees, and know what to expect at each place. I do think it is a lot of fun, but I also imagine it weaving invisible threads from the fields and farms and garden to their minds and hearts. And while they may not want to eat all of the goodies we buy or pick, they have a sense of what it requires, where it came from, and the people and places necessary to make it all happen. And those threads, I think, are what will keep us connected to all that which sustain us!

18 comments:

latisha said...

how can anyone eat without local food? we too love it. in our neck of the woods pickins are slim this time of year (AZ) but we get to be creative and are reminded how important water is to us in every bite of our melons and citrus. i cant wait to take my girl out to the farm.

shelleycaskey said...

oh how lovely!

Anet said...

I love the thought of "weaving invisible threads..." that's wonderful!

Dawn said...

The experiences you're giving your boys right now with them learning where their food comes from, are so valuable. Your table looks so beautiful with all that delicious food.

La casa nella prateria said...

Wise words... that's a great way to keep children connected with nature.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Every time you post on CSA, you make me nostalgic for my growing up years that took place down in farm country.

The picture is luscious!

Sharon said...

The bottom picture of G says it all! The abundance of your area always astounds me. While I love where we live, very little grows here. Local foods consist of beef, venison, & trout. The only things at our farmer's market week before last were squash and cucumbers. It's still too early for tomatoes.....all of our cold nights!

Anonymous said...

I adore your blog! You have so many wonderful ideas, many of which I use with my own children.

I would love to know what farms/farm stands/u picks you stopped at on your way home. They sound great and we'd love to check them out!

so NOT cool said...

Every time that I think about living on a farm, I ache for it. I miss it so much. So, I just try to pretend that I'm out in the country, putz around in my yard and gardens, and ignore the sounds of the village. *wink*

By the way, I've grown a wee bit lazy. Could you send the boys over to pick my tomatoes and trim some herbs? I can barter with vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Eluciq said...

A & G are lucky to have thoughtful folks to guide them in all things natural, organic and local!

Love all that yumminess on your table.

I especially love that the boys' have a connection not only to the farm, but the farmer too!

Lisa Clarke said...

This is just wonderful! For the last two summers I've been haunting the local farmer's markets, but before that, I really had no concept of local foods. I've never been a particularly healthy eater, either.

I wish I had started this local foods thing earlier, before my boys had a chance to discover pop tarts as their favorite foods. I've got a lot of un-training to do!

Yarrow said...

What a beautiful harvest on that table! And what a wonderful thing to share with your boys, they will indeed know and remember where their fod comes from and what part they play in the life cycle of the planet. Blesssings.

RunninL8 said...

I am so wanting my kids to experience this as well. To get the whole concept of the life cycle of produce-from seed to fruit and all that takes place in between. The care and nurishment of this wonderful food that will grow and feed us. To have that appreciation for the whole process and the end product-and perhaps feel more enticed to actually EAT these things and find them tasty!Alas, this summer has been such a BUST. With the horrible weather, none of our veggies are doing well and they don't have a lot of time till the frosts hit.
Glad you and yours are able to experience this-the whole routine of it sounds so WONDERFUL!

Jessica said...

All your veggies and fruits look so yummy on the table! I took my sister to college yesterday and had to harness some serious self-control to not stop at EVERY farm stand along the way home.

Heather said...

What a lovely way to put it, hurrah for those invisible threads.

Marie said...

What beautiful produce and great sentiments about the impact visiting the farms and harvesting at home must have on your sons. What lucky boys to have so much access to healthy food and the first hand experience of knowing where it comes from.

TennZen said...

What a fantastic lesson on the interconnectedness of all things. All that at being a locavore, too. A solid foundation for your kids! Love your blog, by the way!

piscesgrrl said...

about those threads... that's a lovely visual, and one I hope has been woven to my kids as well, even though I lament they have little to no interest in our garden as of yet. (Aside from the occasional salsa-making stint.) But then I remember that I didn't have any interest as a kid either, and here I am, gardening and preserving and cooking. So who knows?

Lovely post.