The headline linked to a UPI story about rural children, not city kids, in England who know very little about where their food comes from. Now this was essentially a puff piece, not a valid survey. There was no mention of the ages of the children, and all evidence was anecdotal.
Still, this brings to mind Mama Squirrel and her emphasis on knowing your farmer. When you know your farmer, you know your food. You know that your food is safe. You know that your food was raised in a manner that you can live with.
It’s just as important for us to make sure that our children know our farmers. Take them to the market with you to let them see the variety of plants and vegetables that are available. If you have one nearby, take them to a farm that offers pick-your-own produce. Let them see that their food is literally connected to the earth. Help them understand that we are inextricably connected to the earth.
Bring the farm home. Set aside a small part of the yard to plant tomatoes or carrots or whatever veggies your kids like. If you don’t have a yard, all you need is a pot. There are some excellent tomato varieties that grow extremely well in containers. Throw in a basil plant or two and the little ones can watch their own spaghetti dinner grow.
We don’t have to encourage our children to grow up to be farmers. (Although that wouldn’t be bad.) We do need to help our children understand their place in the world. They need to understand that they are a part of the world, of the earth, and that it is a part of them.