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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Local Veggies

This week's share at Blooming Glen Farm.
"Can I have some more turnips?"

How many times has that sentence come out of the mouth of a 6-yr old?  Luckily for me and Mary Beth, it came out of Jake's mouth last night at dinner.

We picked up our share at Blooming Glen Farm last night.  Turnips, strawberries, kale, escarole, spring onions, lettuce, kohlrabi, bok choy and Jake's favorite, fennel.  So we made a bit of a salad feast for dinner last night--along with some chicken and pesto pasta. 
Jake and his strawberry with a face.
Even before we had dinner, Jake was asking for some sliced up fennel and some water to drink with a fennel "straw" (the stalks are hollow, so you can use it as a straw for some licorice-flavored water).  Then he scarfed down his lettuce, turnips, strawberries and kohlrabi. 
It's so nice to see him really enjoy these tasty and nutritious foods.  And he's so excited to go to the farm and pick them up.

Jake is a very healthy kid.  And I have no doubt that his eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables has a big hand in that. 

So many kids these days don't even know where vegetables come from, let alone know what kohlrabi is.  (Do you know?)  I don't know how many parents I hear complain about how their kids only eat chicken nuggets or mac and cheese. 

I truly believe that exposing children to these foods--whether at a CSA like Blooming Glen or at a farmers' market--makes them more interested and willing to eat them.  Even better, growing your own garden--even if it's a small one--gives kids a chance to have some ownership of the food they eat. 

Sucking on fennel, surrounded by this week's loot.
Along these lines, I saw Michelle Obama on The Daily Show last night.  She is promoting her book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, which helps to stress the importance that gardens and fresh local foods do to fight the childhood obesity problem that is rampant in this country.  See the interview here.  It made me feel good that we've turned Jake on to a view of fresh and local food that will help to keep him healthy and, hopefully, promote it as he gets older.

So if you have kids--or even if you don't--eat local.  Pick up some items at a farmers' market that has probably traveled less than 10 miles instead of buying supermarket produce that travels an average of 1600 miles from field to your plate--losing flavor and nutrition all the while.  You'll be glad you did and you might even hear a request for more turnips!

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