I’m a fresh fruit and veggie nut and do my best to pass on this love to my family. Imagine my delight when I received the following text message from our youngest who just started college : u r gonna be so proud of me … I just ate lunch at a farmers market … amazing fresh veggies everywhere. YES! He’s enjoying the wonders of finding fresh, locally grown produce in the middle of a city … and now I know he will continue to seek out and enjoy fresh fruit and veggies, much like his older siblings. Growing up in a rural area in a family that gardens certainly increases the likelihood that children will learn to enjoy fresh produce. So many kids grow to adulthood knowing only the fruits and veggies found in cans or frozen plastic bags – if they eat fruit and veggies at all.
This is one of the main reasons the progress of the White House Kitchen Garden is so important. The first lady is setting an example for the country – she’s helping to make fresh produce cool. She’s encouraging kids to learn where their food comes from, the contents of the stuff they ingest as food, and understand that fresh is best. (Read more about the WH Garden on one of my favorite blogs, Obama Foodorama)
But seeing local kids work in the White House garden, and hearing the First Lady speak about the garden does not have the same impact as growing, touching, caring for, and eating locally grown food. The Department of Agriculture is doing its bit with its People’s Garden, and is encouraging other USDA offices across the country to also transform spots on their office properties to a garden of some sort. Now it seems there might be more opportunity for youngsters and their parents to touch and feel fresh veggies and fruits during visits near the White House. A group called Fresh Farm Markets has apparently applied to operate a farmer’s market on Vermont Avenue near the White House. The more farmer’s markets sprout up here and there, the better chance everyone has of being exposed to the wonders of fresh … and the greater chance other parents will get a text, I just ate lunch at a farmers market … amazing fresh veggies everywhere.
I’ll keep these happy thoughts in mind while I finish my tasks at hand … freezing the rest of the peaches we picked a few days ago at a local orchard. And from our own garden there’s an abundance of cucumbers that need pickling and and overflow of finally ripened plum tomatoes that need cooking into sauce. And for those of you without home gardens, there’s bound to be a farmer’s market or two and some farm stands nearby … just visit BuyCTGrown.