“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch” ~Orson Wells
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ~ Virginia Woolf
“We have to bring children into a new relationship to food that connects them to culture and agriculture.” ~Alice Waters
I have been on the road a lot in the last couple of weeks, first riding from Bozeman, MT to Valley City, ND and then from Valley City to Minnetonka, MN. On these long road trips, we partook in meals that my partner’s dad comically refers to as “gut bombs.” He is referring to the salt- and sugar-laden grease feasts that are so readily available from fast food joints along the interstate. That is exactly what they feel like after eating them: gut bombs.
At one of the stops, my attention was grabbed by the “Kids LiveWell Menu.” The meals weren’t exactly what I’d consider healthy, but they were definitely better than fries and chicken nuggets. It’s a program run by the National Restaurant Association to help parents find “healthy” options for their children at restaurants. I checked out the website, and one of the more notable goals of the program is to please children’s palates, and it alluded to the fact that this can be difficult to do.
So, why is it so hard?
Let’s bring kids into the agricultural process early!
It is fitting that I am sitting down to write this post with a long to-do list at my side, a bored baby to the other side and oatmeal slow-cooking on the stove. I feel like I’ve been chugging along alright since Ava was born. We have fun, I work a little bit here and there, the dog goes on regular walks or hikes, we generally have good home made food, and the house is clean sometimes. However, a few weeks ago I was feeling VERY overwhelmed by things to do, even though it seemed like I had heaps of time and I wasn’t really doing that much. The unfortunate thing about this was that I had many things that I should have been doing, not that I had to do. My solution? (This is a confession, of sorts) Do as close to nothing as possible while watching too many rerun episodes of cooking competition shows… This is not a good solution, and I don’t suggest it. I enjoy bouts of laziness, but it had gone too far.
My happy, friendly, little weeding buddy! She mostly eats soil and gnaws on brassica leaves.
This all started with turnips–the small, white, sweet, perfect-to-eat-like-popcorn Hakurei salad turnips. They are one of the delicious early summer treats, and they are so good in salads made of early greens like arugula and spinach. We first harvested these precious roots about four weeks ago from the glass green house. At first glance they were glorious! They were a promise of summer all wrapped up in a beautiful white package.
And then we started picking.
Minimal damage on these tasty treats! As farm workers, we sometimes get the uglies…but we know it’s what’s on the inside that counts!