19 August 2014

As part of my job as Mom of Children Who Never Sit Still and also as Mom of Teenage Boy, a fair bit of my focus on life is on food. Some weeks I feel as if 90% of my waking time is spent buying, preparing, serving, and cleaning up food. I'm grateful for the food I have access to and can afford, but sometimes I resent the amount of energy keeping our family fed takes up.

And then...there are days like today. Today was a day where food was about more than keeping bellies full. 

All three meals I ate today were in some part grown at our home. Crisp for breakfast has apples and rhubarb that were planted by people who lived here before us. Lunch included kale, green beans, and carrots from the garden. To round it out, supper was made with beets and carrots again from the garden. 

This is my second year growing a big garden and I'm getting a lot of joy from it. During crisp spring afternoons of tucking tiny seeds into pots of dirt I had the chance to dream about the lush green that would again fill the area that had sat as only a snowdrift for months. As the ground thawed, my garden gave me the perfect excuse to spend hours soaking up the sun. Now in late summer, I stand and marvel at all that has sprung up, from the trailing cucumber vines to the corn that towers above my head. Going out to water or pick from my garden feels like visiting a friend.

 When I eat from and feed my family from my garden, I feel like it's a celebration of the blessings at our home. Ollie, especially, is enthusiastic about coming out with me to pick. She'll joyfully bolt outside with a pair of scissors to collect various greens if she hears we're going to have salad, and she takes great delight in picking zucchinis and then cradling and cooing at them as if they're large green babies.

We also picked the apples from one of our trees today. It was probably due to be picked a week or two ago and we lost a lot that fell to the ground and were gnawed on by various friends from the forest, but the mosquitoes were too awful to get out there until today.

The girls and I cleaned off everything except one branch at the top that was out of reach. We used a highly scientific formula that involved a ladder, some buckets, some tree climbing, and a hoe. Ollie was mightily pleased with herself when she scampered up the branches to reach where I couldn't from my ladder.

Garden hoes, not just for the garden.
 I'm grateful for the food and the experiences that our home brings to our family, and I hope that days like this help to secure in my children an awareness of and appreciation for the things that grow in our world.


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