Wednesday, May 16, 2007
A few days ago I helped Chloe's Kindergarten class harvest the veggies they planted a few months back. They each had an individual pot in which they planted carrot, radish and lettuce seeds. I tried to incorporate some math when they were planting and told them to take 3 of each seed...well, they ended up with about 20 or so, in a tiny pot...that made for a great lesson in learning about how to thin the seedlings after they sprouted.
We harvested the radishes and some lettuce, and a nice big carrot, for Cinnamon Sugar, the class Guinea Pig. The kids were so funny tasting the radishes... most said it was to spicy, but a few just chowed them down. I think we left them in the soil to long, so they were not exactly the best quality, but hey, I think they got the idea. It is great to garden with 5 and 6 year olds...they love plants, bugs, and dirt, and it is amazing how much they really know about the subject. I only wish I had individual, one on one, gardening time with each of them...to me, it is one of the most amazing things you can do with a child, work in the dirt, learn about the earth, the plants and the gifts they give us.
Which leads me to my next subject.... The food we eat ....
I was fortunate enough to attend an open forum last night held by The Nutrition and Health Conference. (Thank you Alan !) The conference is a three day long event for Medical Professionals, who want to start incorporating integrated medicine into their practices, essentially educating patients about what they are putting into their bodies and how it can improve overall health. The forum was open to the public and the speakers were;
Dr Andrew Weil, M.D. If you don't know who he is...you should...check him out
Author, Michael Pollan. He has a book out called "The Omnivore's Dilemma" If there is anything you take from this....please READ this book..if will change the way you think. Another great book of his "The Botany of Desire" So wonderful especially if you are a Gardener.
Daniel Imhoff, Writer and Researcher who's most recent book is called "Food Fight" a citizen's guide to a Food and Farm Bill.
This forum was such an eye opener for me on many levels, that I can't stop thinking about it. I am pretty educated on what food I buy. I only buy organic produce, try to support the farmers market vendors, make sure the dairy I buy is not tainted with hormones, and stay away from farmed fish. But, after hearing these men speak, I realized there is a whole component I was not educated about, The Farm Bill. I really had no idea what this overwhelming piece of legislation is about, and how it effects us... but I am going to educate myself and read "Food Fight".
I was having a conversation yesterday, before I went to this forum, with another parent, about the organic garden we want to start at our new school location next year. We talked about her passion for a healthy school lunch program, and how we could possibly use what we grow to feed our kids at school. So it was wild how I then found myself, that evening, sitting in front of these intelligent and informative minds, who are on the forefront of a movement that is hopefully going to change what we are growing and what we are eating in our society. I could go on and on, but I would not do this subject justice. I encourage you to link onto these folks websites and read up on what is going on. I know we are inundated these days with which cause to support and give our time to...but this one...it's not just about what we eat, and what we feed our families, it is about where the food comes from, and how it effects our health, our economy and the environment we live in. I think it is worth your time to take a look. I know for me, I need to educate myself on the farm bill, write letters to my Senators and Congress People, but most importantly, I need to keep putting my time and energy into creating an organic edible garden for our school, and continue the one I have at home...
This is an edible school garden that inspires me, (thanks Caroline), hope it inspires you...