Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pick Your Own Produce!

     I used to work at an after-school program when I was 18 and 19 years old. One day a little boy was tearing branches off a tree and I told him to stop. He asked “why” and I said he was hurting it. This confused the first grader quite a bit because he didn’t know that trees were alive! He thought they were “decorations.”

     That day I vowed to myself: "When I have kids, they will know better than that!"

      A lot of kids I’ve come into contact with think that food (even produce!) comes from the store… period. Maybe that's because we live in a large city. I want my kids to learn early how our groceries come to be. As always, the Bible is a great place to start…

“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it, according to their various kinds.’” 
Genesis 1:11

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’” 
Genesis 1:29

“…The rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…” 
Isaiah 55:10

     I would actually really love to keep a garden, but funding and talent have prevented that. To those of you who garden with your kids, that’s awesome! You are going to teach them so much about life! I, however, must resort to field trips.

     One day this past Fall while browsing the “for sale” shelf at our library, my inspiration was found: bilingual book all about apples and how they grow. I bought it and decided to show T hands-on what this was all about.

      I found a great website where you can search for orchards in your area:


     I found one about an hour and a half from where we live and invited some friends. All the kids and moms had a blast! This was one of the coolest things I have done with my son. The orchard was on a farm so we got to visit lots of animals and have great BBQ for lunch! 

     In addition to the learning experience we got pounds of organic golden delicious apples for a fraction of what they cost in the grocery store! Later that week at home we learned how to make an apple pie!

      I will definitely be posting again in the summer after we harvest some peaches and maybe some strawberries too!

     How do you teach your kids where food comes from? Farmers' markets, gardening, book suggestions? Do you have any tips for gardening in AZ on a budget? 



  1. Are you teaching T Spanish? We are trying to do the same with Ramona.

    We don't have a lot of space to garden in our condo, but I am trying to do some co-op gardening with my brothers and sisters that live here in the valley and share. I'm going to try to herbs in pots and then trade them for squash and other things.

    1. I really like that idea of swapping with your family!

      I would like to teach him Spanish, but I don't really know enough to do a good job! I just try to expose him to it where I can. That's awesome that you are speaking Spanish to Ramona! Do you speak fluently?

    2. Not fluently, but I figure that I can kinda learn with her. She has books and toys that are Spanish and English. Jason speaks Spanish much better than I do, but neither of us are fluent.

  2. That looks SO FUN! A field trip is a great way for children to learn, especially if you make it an annual tradition to look forward to! Great idea! I will check out that website for some near me :)

    1. Jen, let me know what you find in your area... I bet some good stuff! Ya I think we are making it our annual Fall kick-off tradition :-)

  3. Love this! I think it's important for kids (and adults for that matter) to get connected to where food comes from. A small indoor garden is an option or an indoor worm bin is another fun activity. We have one and they love to make compost out of our kitchen scraps.

    1. A worm bin is an awesome idea! I have such a black thumb when it comes to plants. Believe it or not, I would actually be more comfortable with the bugs! I bet your kids love the worms!