Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Teaching kids about seasonality
I didn't look up the definition of "seasonality" but in my family it simply means that not every food we eat is available year round. Some foods are only available during a certain SEASON.
And there is something very romantic about that notion. Something very nostalgic.
I haven't bought a tomato at a store in probably 10 years. I can't remember ever buying okra, cucumbers, peppers or even onions from the store. Or potatoes.
I feel as a parent it is very important to teach the kids that food is only availble to us during the time we are growing it. We have to be aware of our growing season. We have to know WHERE food comes from. We have to realize that that tomato in the store was probably picked from sandy soil in Mexico when it was green, 2 weeks ago then it sat in a dark room and was sprayed with ethelyne gas to faux "ripen" it.
And that's why it doesn't taste that good.
A month or so ago my 7 year old came up to me and was looking for a snack and said " Mom are blueberries in season yet?" How proud was I! She knew that we could only enjoy the beautiful plump berries during the growing season.
Now, please don't get me wrong, there are certain things that we can't grow here. Like pineapple. Or lemons. Or bananas. We just can't. We do enjoy those things though on occasion, and I make sure the kids know where they were grown. We look up the country on the map. We talk about the climate that makes it able to grow there. It's kinda fun actually...
So I challenge you to be aware of your food. Teach your kids that it's not magical. It doesn't just appear out of thin air. People have to plant it, tend it, pick it etc. Mother Nature has to provide certain climate for it.
Beleive me, there is NOTHING better than biting into that first cucumber you pick from your garden this summer. The one that is probably a bit too small but you couldn't wait a few more days to pick it. The one that you don't bother to wash and you eat it strait from the vine and you can taste a tiny bit of soil and dust on it. Man that's good eating!!
Until Next time
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