Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On Good Land

I have been reading On Good Land (thanks Mary-Sue) and I have enjoyed it so much that I want to read it over again immediately. There is so much to like in this book and I would like to share a few bits that really stood out for me. (just a couple of them, there are far too many good bits to include here)

It has always been important to me to have my kids involved in growing their food - to me, it is one of the most basic and most important life lessons they can have - so when the author wrote this bit about city kids coming to his farm on a field trip it really spoke to me.

"...and watched their brains cells exploding with new information as they harvested and ate vine ripe tomatoes for the first time in their lives. We split open watermelons still warm from the sun and feasted on their hearts. This was real education - no plant identification exercises or in-depth lectures on soil, just the experience of seeing and eating food in context."

I can just picture the looks on the faces of those children as they tasted just-picked food for the first time and this bit, "seeing and eating food in context." I love that. I wonder how different our world could be if we were all seeing and eating food in context, if it became a real part of our lives instead of just some abstract thing...another errand or chore to be taken care of.
I also like this bit written by the author's son.

"I guess like anything else, when you are part of the process it grows on you. I think that kids who have a close connection with their food, who understand where it came from or took part in the process of growing and preparing it, have an easier time understanding other things as well."
I think that that is my hope for my sons, I hope that if they can know and understand this most basic lesson of growing food - supplying nourishment - and connection to the earth then they will go through their lives with a greater understanding for all things.
So, even though it just looks like we're growing veggies, what we are actually cultivating are hopes, dreams and, hopefully, a greater understanding. :-)


Mary-Sue said...

Love the shots of your peas!!
I just loved the book too. It brought some things together for me in ways I hadn't really processed before. I'm so glad you're enjoying it too!

denise said...

Exactly! That is how I feel about it too - the boys help with everything every summer. Prepping, mulching, planting, harvesting, insect control. ;) But it is so much more than just a garden, I guess. I'll have to check out that book. Perfect timing for us -- just spent a whole day in the garden with the boys!

denise said...

Yes, I can tell I was in the garden all day and am tired. I am actually reading that book RIGHT NOW. It is on my nightstand! :)

Heather said...

Too funny, Denise. If your nightstand book pile looks anything like mine, it is easy for books to get lost in there. ;-) Michael Ableman's other book Fields of Plenty is excellent too.