If You Ate Today, Thank A Farmer

Now that we are into spring, barbecuing season is back.  Sure, you can barbecue in the winter, but it is not something one generally thinks of doing in a snowstorm.  With the last of the snow gone, April’s sun shining, and relatively warm weather in our area, the Dreamboat has emerged from his bbq hibernation.  Now you will find our grill often fired up with burgers, ribs and, my favourite of all, roasting veggies.

I have always enjoyed veggies, but ever since we joined a CSA, my appreciated has developed into full-out love.  What is a CSA, you ask?  It stands for community supported agriculture (or sometimes community shared agriculture).  It is a program in which you pay for a seasonal “share” from a local farmer in the spring, and in turn that farmer provides you with a weekly supply of veggies throughout the growing season (June to October in our region).  The produce is all organic, and it tastes amazing!

The farm we have the privilege of buying veggies from is Dalew Farms, located in Lavigne, ON.  The owners Dave and Chantal are incredibly nice and very hard-working people.  They believe in organic farming, and produce incredible fruit, veggies, eggs and meat.  I had a friend in university who had a sign in her kitchen that said “If you ate today, thank a farmer.”  How many of us can say that we have met the farmers that feed us?

I think that it is important to teach Little Man about food, and where it comes from.  Not only to teach him how amazing fresh foods can be, but also because I think that if he cares about the food he eats, then he will learn respect for the world around him.  In nature, everything from the little worm to the enormous elephant is connected.  I want Little Man to feel that he is a part of that connection.

I was watching a TED program on Netflix recently where Jamie Oliver was talking to Americans about what they can do to improve the health of their children via their diets.  He played a clip of him speaking with an elementary class about vegetables.  He held up a bunch of tomatoes and asked the little kids if they knew what they were.  Most didn’t have a guess.  One kid said they were potatoes.  As Jamie pulled out mushrooms, radishes and an eggplant (aubergine), it became clear that very few of those children knew much about produce.  Yet how many of those same kids would be able to name french fries, chips or hotdogs?

Jamie said it best when he told the audience that education had to come from the shops, the schools and the homes.  I can’t control what happens in the shops or at school, but I can control what we teach Little Man at home.  That is why I am introducing him to an abundance of fresh foods.  As for whether he will like veggies, when “kids just don’t like vegetables,” I am a firm believer that if I don’t expect him to hate something, he won’t.  I love veggies, and eat them at meals, so I am sure that he will too (and so far he has eaten it all).

Of course all of this is made easier by the fact that veggies ARE tasty.  If you are a non-believer, cut up the veggies of your choice.  Lightly brush them with olive oil.  Grind a little salt and pepper (or other herbs and spices) on top.  Lay them on a bbq veggie dish or oven safe tray, and bbq them.  I bet you will change your mind about veggies after that.

What are some of your favourite barbecue foods?  Feel free to leave a recipe in the comments section.

P.S.  A special thanks to everyone who entered Yeah Baby It’s Cold Outside’s very first giveaway.  Congratulations to S. Hartley who will be enjoying four amazing issues of Eco Parent magazine this year!


3 thoughts on “If You Ate Today, Thank A Farmer

  1. Pingback: The Great Food Dilemma « My Cracked Pot

  2. We get a box of organic, mostly local, veggies delivered every week all year round. In most parts of the city, Victoria, they are delivered by bike. The website where I can choose what I want lists all the local farmers and a weekly newsletter highlights what different farmers are doing over the seasons. It would be a great little business for other locations. http://www.shareorganics.bc.ca/
    When we lived in Waterloo we started picking up CSA boxes weekly during the summer. It was at this time that I was forced to learn how to cook veggies that I had never eaten before or thought I didn’t like. My favourite is roasting. Roasting anything in extra virgin olive oil sprinkled with Club House Spicy Pepper Medley is the best. Try rutabaga or brussel sprouts, anything you think you don’t like. Amazing!

    • Thanks for the seasoning idea, Jackie. I am so glad that you have the chance to enjoy CSA foods in your area. I also learned a lot of new veggies and how to cook them once our CSA share started. Like you, veggies I thought I didn’t like (especially beets) became favourites once I found the cooking method that worked best. That is very cool what Shared Organics B.C. is doing. I love that they have an option of purchasing a “Donation box” (donating organic produce to a local charity). Take care.

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