If you have ever watched the excitement and awe in the eyes of a child who has pulled a carrot from the ground for the first time – you know the power of exposing children to where their food comes from.
Children who understand how food is grown and what season it grows can make better food choices. They understand that food tastes better when you have been involved in growing, harvesting or cooking it.
There are so many farms today that welcome visitors to participate in harvests. Sites like http://www.pickyourown.org can help you to find local farms. Visit a farmers market and talk to the farmers. Find out what they are excited about on their farm. Ask what worries them and how consumers can help. Ask if there are opportunities at their farm or at other farms for volunteering. There is nothing more rewarding than the meal you create after a day of helping on a farm.
We love everything about http://www.localfoodswheel.com. Look for the food wheel for your region and use it to figure out what is in season. A fun activity is to have kids find their birthday month on the wheel and imagine a perfect celebration meal using only the food that is in season at that time.
The wonderful poet Wendell Berry has said that
“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.”
"The Pleasures of Eating" from WHAT ARE PEOPLE FOR? by Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1990 by Wendell Berry.