Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Food, Farms, and Revolution

Up close and personal

Have you ever come to the realization that you are part of something larger than yourself? A movement, or even, dare I say, a revolution?

Food. Where it comes from, how it's grown and processed, how we prepare it, and how (or whether) it nourishes us... these have become big issues. Concepts like locavore, flexitarian, farm-to-table... were these even part of our vocabulary ten years ago? There is such a growing awareness of the perils of fast and processed food, along with the real long-term problems created by large-scale factory farming, and I feel like I have been waking up to these issues right alongside the rest of America.

Don't mess with me

For me, my learning curve over the past few years has gone something like this: Super Size Me, Fast Food Nation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, The End of Food, In Defense of Food, Nourishing Traditions, Food Matters, Food, Inc., King Corn, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. With a lot of great blogs, articles, gardening books, and cookbooks along the way.

And where it's led me is to a passionate belief that our children must know where their food comes from. This is truly essential to our survival on this planet.

Ooh, tractor...

One of the ways I am trying to teach this is to grow our own food, which we have done with some modest success in the past and this year are taking to the next level. We also cook together, eat as many whole foods as possible, and are trying more and more to limit the amount of processed food in our diets.

But one of the simplest ways to connect children -- and anyone! everyone! -- to the source of a food is to visit a farm. I am really excited to be forming a relationship with a farm by joining a CSA this year. But anyone can visit a farm. Find a pick-your-own farm and make a weekend outing of going to pick strawberries. Find a farm with a petting zoo or hayride. Or at the very least, chat with the farmers at your local farmer's market.

Food doesn't come from the grocery store, or through a drive-thru window. If our children can truly absorb this, if they can internalize the importance of what they're eating, and where it comes from, they might actually turn this thing around.

Hello, chicken!

I can feel it in the air. You might even call it a revolution.

This post was hammered out in 30 minutes as part of Jamie's Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, hosted over at SteadyMom. Whew!


  1. That tractor picture is AWESOME! Love those bright colors!! and that cow... very cool shot!

  2. Perfect post! I realized shortly after starting my own blog and trading thoughts with others that I was becoming part of that same movement. One day I was just there. We've lost so much knowledge already and we need to get it back and pass it on.
    Hurray for the Revolution!

  3. I'm a cow photographer enthusiast! That's all I have around me. :o) Neat close up pic!

  4. Total revolution that Im so happy to be on the bandwagon with. Im with you, our children need to grow up with this knowledge so they can change the world and the ideas behind our food.


  5. That photo is just fantastic! Such fun. I love your story as well. Thank you for sharing.

  6. What a cute cow nose - you got really close too.

  7. Great close-up of the cow!! Thanks for the story - it got me thinking :)

  8. My book list started with Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation too. I've also read Nourishing Traditions but not the others- thanks for the reading list:)

    Btw, if you are doing a family garden project no matter how big or small and are blogging about it, consider linking with my virtual-community garden at: http://flexiblehomeschooler.blogspot.com/2010/03/family-garden-101.html

  9. LOVE the cow nose! Curious cows are the best!

  10. Great shots! I live on a farm and have lots of cow shots too. ;-) They are easier to photograph than my kids - they stand still. LOL

  11. We're also joining a CSA this year, and the one we've chosen requires 5 hours of work per family on the farm. I'm so excited! I can't wait to bring my kids. I love that the CSA gives us the opportunity not only to eat sustainably grown, organic food, but it also provides a great educational opportunity for the kids.

  12. I think a cow just swallowed my comment - operation retry!!! Love this post!!! We made our own functioning vegi garden for the first time this year and what a difference it has made to our lives... "Is it ours?" and everyone eats it - no matter what it is!!! I a all for this kind of revolution!!!

  13. That nose made me laugh out loud.

    Good for you and your family with your revolution. :)