Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The future of farming.


There are 201 posts on this blog to date. I rarely make mention of my children. Perhaps, well for sure, this has been based on my philosphy of not mixing my worlds. Today is different.
Today was one of those days where the planets aligned perfectly and coincidences could not be overlooked. I am a firm believer in collective thinking.
I have 4 children. I mean really when you're oldest kid is almost 26 years old it seems weird to still refer to him as my child. What is the correct terminology for that? My adult son/daughter sounds so cliche`.
My day was divided among all three of my daughters today. Not collectively, which is rare. As children age and move away from home, it's more likely to gather as a family.
Really, it was a treat to spend time one- on -one with each of them.

The future of farming starts at home with our children. I'm not talking about a large scale farm with tractors and silos (although that would be swell too). It's teaching young people how to grow food.

I've had the good fortune to have healthy children. I fed them plenty of junk food over the years. We ordered pizza more times than I am willing to confess. Yet, each of them have experienced the thrill of harvesting dinner from our backyard.

I'm proud to have taught my children an appreciation for farming. Some of the years we grew our garden in pots on the patio. My youngest child is fortunate enough to help me plant a garden large enough to feed a multitude.

I know a young family.They have started a garden this year. With a young son and daughter, this family is making their contribution to keeping farming alive! Yeah! I wonder what memories those children will have of their gardening experience.

For the sake of stirring up some positive collective thinking on the subject of teaching children gardening, I will mix my worlds...just this one time.

Josh is my oldest child and only son. He is a bit of a purist and certainly the philosophical type. He has the ability to enjoy a simple cup of tea and a nice bowl of rice.  Gardening teaches us to make good use of our food and not to be wasteful. He has mastered that concept. He's a hiker and knows his food nutrition well.

Libby is my oldest daughter. I stopped by her apartment today and was thrilled to hear her make mention of planting a few things outside her door. She has the tiniest plot of soil, yet she is thinking of what she will grow there. I hope she still comes home to help pull weeds this summer.

Anna is my self confessed tree hugger. She not only has the knowledge of gardening but, also the skills to cook with fresh actual food products. Not every young person knows how to turn a whole food into a meal without the use of boxes and cans. When I get old, I hope she is in charge of my meals on wheels!

Aimee is my youngest child. When she was three years old we were scratching in the dirt of the garden together. I saw her look into her pocket and talk to something. She had put worms in her pocket to keep them safe. I guess my little lesson on how worms are our friends and they make our garden grow had an impact on her.

I see, in each of my children, such drastic differences. Yet, the one common ground is their love for the earth and gardening. I think they will all be valuable members of society. Despite all of those long nights locked up in that garden shed....ah ha gotcha! It was getting a little sappy so I had to slip a zinger in there.

For pete's sake people take less time driving your kids across the county for crazy extracurricular activties, instead teach them valuable things.

I will never regret having taking the time to teach these small principles to my children.



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