i think it's important for children to know where their food comes from. not the grocery store, not a farmers market, but from the earth. a few years ago i read the book, animal, vegetable, miracle, about a family that lives off the land for a year. the author, barbara kingsolver, packs up her family from their suburban lifestyle in tucson, arizona, and transplants them in rural southwest virginia onto a 100-year-old farm. she and her family pledge to spend the next year eating only what they can grow in their garden, raise on their farm, or get from their neighbors who are all local farmers. one of the most discerning parts of the book (that has stuck with me ever since) involved the author asking a group of kids where vegetables come from. they had no clue. when she told them that vegetables grow in the dirt, the kids squealed, "ewwwwww!" the fact that they didn't know where vegetables come from is slightly heartbreaking and the fact that dirt on vegetables, meant "dirty" and "gross" says a lot about how far removed many children are from the basics of where food comes from.
my biggest desire in life is to be able to teach holden by experience and while we can't pick up and move to a farm (just yet...), we still want him to know exactly where his food comes from. with that in mind, we went peach picking this weekend in brentwood. the air was stagnant, without even the slightest breeze, but we followed the almost sickly sweet smell to trees full of brightly colored, plump, peaches. we didn't last long under the scorching sun that radiated from the dry, molten-lava-hot earth, but we managed to fill a bucket with the most delicious peaches and nectarines i have ever tasted. holden loved picking the perfectly ripe fruit, sinking his teeth into the soft skin, and smiling as the sticky, juice dripped down his chin. this kid obviously has no qualms about dirt as it was kind of a battle to keep him away from the fallen fruit, rotting on the ground. we left the farm full and satisfied with a week's worth of fruit in tow.