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"Lessons Learned in the Garden & from Jamie"....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I have long admired Jamie Oliver's views on growing your own food, preparing it in simple, yet lovely ways, & sharing the process with those you love, especially your children.
If you read this blog, or know me personally, you know that gardening is an important part of my life. I feel I am just scratching the surface as far as my knowledge is concerned, but am constantly striving to learn more.

The idea of being a "sustainable suburban farmer" is my goal. I am beginning small, with raised beds filled with what I refer to as "salad fixings".....lettuce, tomatoes, shallots, radishes & carrots. I have another bed filled with herbs, that I use often, such as "rosemary & dill" for bread,
"basil" for pesto... & of course "lavender" just for my own well-being.
And of course there is always room( or maybe not?) for zucchini, yellow squash, & pumpkins....and last but not forgotten about ..."flowers"!.....
Oh! I must grow bouquets! simply feeds the spirit!

So back to Jamie Oliver....who's show "Jamie at Home" on the Cooking channel is definitely a must see!.... Jamie was talking about, how so many children these days are not exposed at all to gardening, & in turn not at all in favor of eating & enjoying vegetables. He was even saying how years ago there was not a person alive not in love with strawberries, but now how you run across children who don't like them?, ....Or feel the same about carrots or greens or onions?
( just because they are not exposed or are eating under-ripe grocery store varieties!?)

The answer here is to expose children to vegetables,... through growing vegetables with them. Like Jamie says it is not difficult....& I agree!
My grandson Andrew & I love being together working in the garden!.... After all,... getting dirty, playing with water & being outdoors is what long summer days are all about.
Not only are we spending time together & working together, but the conversations that we find ourselves in are possibly the most important.
We chat about how bugs & bees are helping us garden, not out to harm us. We talk about how shallots are so sweet compared to onions,.... & how basil leaves & tomatoes picked right off the vine are the best "lunch" ever.

And the best lessons too are the ones brought back into the kitchen....When we return to the kitchen, Andrew is learning to clean the vegetables, to cut the lettuces, & to take the scraps back out to the compost bin....Together we are creating salads & Andrew is realizing that salad & vegetables are amazingly delicious, eating every bit of green off his plate.

I guess my message here is this...
* create a matter the size
* grown vegetables
* get your children involved
* watch "Jamie At Home"
* improve your diet
* improve your life

Thank you for listening....

( photos courtesy of Jamie Oliver)


Kathleen Grace June 23, 2011 at 12:38 PM  

You are so right Heidi, and have hit on a subject near and ear to my heart! I work in a school cafeteria and even though we offer vegetbles daily,(and well prepared veggies at that, our cookgraduated with a culinary degree from a prominent University!) the majority of children we serve cannot be cajoled,or tempted into eating them. Worst of all, I cannot believe how many of the children look at the vegetable offerings and ask, "What is that?"
We aren't talking about anything exotic, they don't know what peas and corn are! My school system is in an affluent suburb, not an inner city. With all of the complaints against school lunches, the bottom line is that parents themselves are guiltiest of feeding their children a diet heavy in processed foods and very few vegetables. Our girls were raised with a garden and enjoy all kinds of vegetables. Raising kids with gardening is one of the best ways to get them interested in eating right!

Kathleen Grace June 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM  

Excuse the typos, I should have proofread before I hit publish:>) lol

Sherri June 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM  

Heidi, what a beautiful post! I think it is great that Andrew gardens with you and is also learning how to eat better and even better yet how to grow your own veggies! I have 2 tomatoes in containers and can't wait to get some from my plants. I would have done raised beds but we moved to late this year to do that-next year though raised beds of veggies it will be!! Good for you and Andrew! Enjoy!

Boho Farm and Home June 24, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

I couldn't agree more!
Great post!

deb July 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM  

OMGOSH what a great post! and YES its been so humid in cali...Im in so cal and we got a little relief but its HOT!!!!
when I was making my dolls at home I had the same to balance time. and I NEVER made anything for me or just for was always to sell....the only way I was able to balance it all was to set aside a certain time to "work" on my business,,,,and then stop when it was time...but its so hard!!!
your garden is gorgeous....and I so agree...even if you just have a little room you can grow herbs and lettuce....I grew beets this year for the first time, and am getting ready to have some green beans for dinner out of the garden..and I have very little room.
thanks for a great post!

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