Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Rhythm of a Family Meal

Yellow Rhythm Wednesday
A Food Journey

Take your child on a food journey while you partake in your meals together.

  • Ask them if they know where the food they eat comes from?
  • How is it grown?
  • Who grows it?
  • How does it get to the store and then to your kitchen?
  • Was it grown in your own garden?
  • Did you help plant the seeds, cultivate and harvest it?
  • If so, talk about what you learned and how it felt to take a seed to a food you can share with the family.
Children develop a new appreciation for food if they can have a little garden patch to tend on their own during the growing season.
They can have a sense of pride knowing they have helped to grace the table with all kinds of vegetables.
This can be an excellant opportunity to teach our children about the importance of being organic and how it affects the world we live in.

The benefits of organic gardening are not only that it is not only a healthier option, but it is cheaper as well. However, for young ones, gardening organically can be frustrating at times. Certain plants can make organic growing less frustrating.

With Spring in mind here are some suggestions of some easy plants for the young organic gardener to get started with.

Rhubarb and Mint
Rhubarb is easy to grow, and can often be found wild. The leaves are poisonous, but the stems tart and tasty.
Under good conditions, mint grows well and will pop up year after year. Gardeners who want to move on to other herbs might have a hard time actually getting rid of their mint.
Garlic and Basil
Like other leafy herbs, basil grows well indoors and out. Forgetting to water does not spell the end of a basil-growing endeavor. The wilted plant is often able to perk up with a healthy dose of water and a few days of sunlight.
Garlic likewise does well in the absence of a gardener’s care. In addition, it is used as a natural pesticide and fungicide, making it a staple for experienced organic gardeners as well.
Bigger is seldom better in the world of inexperienced growers, but a few simple steps can make pumpkins one of the easier plants to grow organic. They respond well to soil mixed with compost and do not need to be watered often. Tricks like placing straw under maturing pumpkins to keep them off of the dirt go a long way towards a successful season.

Radishes and Carrots
Radishes are forgiving of imperfect weather and inconsistent watering. Pests find them attractive, but lightweight garden row covers keep these bugs at bay.
Carrots perform even better in sunny, mildly dry spots. This vegetable can maintain its vitamin content and sweet taste even if it does not grow to its full potential.
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes do well in soil that is not fertilized. There is no need to buy seeds, simply cut the slips (sometimes known as eyes) out of an old potato and plant them in the garden.

Most species of pepper respond well to sunlight and warm weather and attract relatively few pests.

Rosemary and Fennel
Fennel is considered both a vegetable and a herb. It is not difficult to grow and is a popular addition to organic gardens because it attracts ladybugs, which are natural predators of some of gardens’ most insidious pests.
Rosemary is a delicate herb once it is harvested, but it can also grow quite well in a pot like many herbs do with only basic watering and access to sunshine. It is possible to salvage a neglected rosemary plant by giving it a few intensive watering and sunshine sessions.

(I did not take these pictures, I captured them from an organic site)
We are the caretakers of our planet, and it is our job to teach our children to carry on with this important task.

Have a cheerful, joyful Yellow Rhythm Wednesday!


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