Growing up, our father harvested enough vegetables to sell to the people who lived out in the country near our home. He was an “organic” farmer before “organic was cool”. I remember well how alive the food tasted, especially when we ate it raw directly from the garden.
When I was writing, The Assignment, knowing it was set during summer vacation, I wanted to add a story-line that showed children that growing their own garden could be a cool thing. Here is an excerpt:
July came fast. Anna and Sam spent a lot of time working with their mother in the garden. Picking the first fruit of the season made the next batch come quickly. Her mother’s summer vegetable garden exploded with ripe vegetables. Working in the garden took Anna’s mind off of the assignment. The girls were learning to prepare tomatoes, beans, squash and other vegetables in glass jars and freezer bags, and that was fun. They made some blueberry jam too.
The Riley family was also trying to be more health conscious, so Anna was frequently reminded that the garden not only saved the family a lot of money, but they knew the vegetables had no chemicals or preservatives in them and that made them healthier.
“I’m home,” Mr. Riley announced himself as he entered the kitchen from the garage. “Just in time for dinner,” Mrs. Riley greeted her husband with a kiss on the cheek. “Hmmm, smells good. What’s cooking?” he asked.
“Home-cooked vegetables,” Anna told her dad.
“I’m not surprised. Smells like food from a fine country restaurant,” Mr. Riley said.
“It is…ours!” Sam carried the last bowl and set it down in the middle of the table. Steam from the hot creamed corn danced its way upward.
“Okay, let’s eat. Riley girls at your service, sir,” Anna bowed like a waiter and said now that the entire family was in the kitchen. Anna liked to make her father laugh and the bow did the trick.
If you are not used to gardening let your children start small. Tomatoes or bell peppers are relatively easy and can be grown in containers. Have fun!!