Recently I visited an urban edible garden, Epicurious. I wrote about this and I received a comment from Graham. While visiting Epicurious, he heard a boy express surprise that carrots grew under the ground. Part of me automatically thought ‘Well, of course that is where they grow – how could the boy not know.’
I noticed my judgement on the situation. Sure, it amazes me that some kids may not know that carrots grow under the ground, what celery is or that meat doesn’t just come from a supermarket. But there has to be a reason for this. For me, I feel it is that growing disconnection that some kids have from how food is grown or produced.
I wonder why there is a strong urge in me to make sure that my kids know how veggies grow or where eggs, milk and meat come from. I grew up in an inner city environment. It wasn’t as if I had exposure to this knowledge in a practical sense. But I still knew that carrots grew under the ground.
In this age of digital technology, it is all too easy to plonk the kids in front of screens so they live in virtual land…I know because I do this at times. Maybe it is because of this that kids become disconnected from the real world around them.
The Importance of Knowing How Food is Grown
Here are a few reasons why I feel it is important for kids to know where there food comes from
- Knowing how food is grown gives a sense of gratitude and respect for the earth that is it grown in.
- Appreciating the farmers that grow our food. There is no taking for granted that food just comes from a supermarket.
- Kids are our future leaders. Having respect and appreciation for how food is grown will hopefully guide them in decisions around our food security.
- It may encourage an interest in learning to grow their own. This will continue food growing knowledge and skills and can lead to healthy food choices.
There is another reason why I like my kids to know where food comes from…I do this getting them to grow veggies. My kids are more enthusiastic about trying a vegetable or fruit if it has grown in our garden or they know how it is grown. When you have fussy eaters, any tactic you can use helps. 🙂
Why it is Important to Have Community Edible Gardens/School Veggie Gardens
I’m fortunate that I live on a large block of land. There is space for me to have a largish veggie patch. The kids can experience growing veggies at home. But what if land is not available to you?
A lot of schools have school veggie gardens. Kids can still learn how food is grown in a practical way. At my kids school, they are able to harvest what is being grown. Then get to enjoy eating the produce by having a cooking class. How awesome is that!
If your kids school doesn’t have a veggie patch, this is where community gardens can come into play. If there are no community gardens close by, growing in pots in also an option.
Growing your own doesn’t have to be on a large scale. Edible plants can do well in pots. Even one pot with an edible plant growing in it can spark discussion on how food is grown.
Now over to you. Is it important that kids know where their food comes from? What are your thoughts – we would love to hear them. Please share in the comments below.
Interested in learning about growing in pots? Then check out The Micro Gardener for loads of ideas to successfully grow edible plants in pots.
Like to find out in there is a community garden close to you? Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network can point you in the right direction.