This is our first year as a family purchasing a CSA. A CSA means Community Supported Agriculture, which really means we purchase our food from a local farmer at the beginning of the growing season. I “shopped” around and asked the farmers in my area many questions and made a decision based on what I felt was important, the environment and just morally. Yes, these are things that are increasingly important to me as I get older, and as I raise my children. I don’t want my children to think that food comes out of a cardboard box, or ‘just’ from a grocery store;
I want them to be aware that food is grown and harvested by people…whether it is local or elsewhere in the world. There is a Vietnamese saying that goes like this:
When eating a fruit, think of the person that planted the tree
My 9- year-old daughter asked me what this saying meant, and I replied that the next time you eat a piece of fruit, to think of the person that worked hard to plant the tree, take care of it, and pick the fruit. That person could be supporting their own family through farming, and works very hard to feed people all around the world. When you purchase a CSA your children and family will get to know the farmer, and the farm where your food comes from. It’s about being aware of where your food comes from and that it does not just magically arrive on the shelves of our grocery store 2 minutes from our house.
I believe that children who are food conscious will be willing to try new food and may even eat healthier. An understanding of this also creates empathy and understanding in children, whether it is for other people or for the animals they visit on the farm.