Friday, 22 June 2012

Myth Seven :Your kids will love it!

Generally speaking they’d much prefer a meal that comes with a free toy than the dinner that took you six months to prepare. From seed to saliva. A great concept only it just doesn’t make them salivate, and they certainly have no romantic illusions about weeding, feeding, and picking up poo berries? Caleb did this for me once. He wore gloves, a face mask and still dry retched around the paddock till I caved in.  I didn’t even ask him to pick up the sloppy ones. When he was a child he enjoyed throwing mandarins at me while I gardened. He also didn’t mind eating them, or nibbling at snow peas while they were still on the vine. Throwing the odd insect into the chook pen to watch the chook scrum, great sport, and baby animals are great.  I thought it would help him understand where his food from, perhaps even respect what got on his plate a little more. It certainly taught him the origins of his food. The day I saw him licking his lips when he saw his pet sheep running around the paddock made me realise we’d succeeded so spectacularly in doing this that we’d also failed. He has a policy around meat eating, you only eat it after it’s stopped being cute.

The thing that really gets to me is he’s content to spend long periods of time on a computer playing lame games like Farmville, where he raises virtual reality crops but has zero interest in the real thing.  In the end you have a narrow window of opportunity, somewhere around 3 or 4 years of age in which growing raspberries and picking them is fun. After that they tell you that you’ve taken all of the fun and taste out of raspberries by insisting they help you pick ten kilos of them.

The truth, raspberries and strawberries come in punnets in supermarkets for a reason, Doh!

Tomorrow: Myth Eight: It’s a Cornucopia of produce


knutty knitter said...

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!!! My two are just like that - forget gardening etc. Food comes from the supermarket or the farmers market and that's it.

There was a whole 3 days when my then 12 year old decided to go vegetarian and then he decided perhaps not :) The cute and fluffy phase applies here too. At 14 he simply inhales whatever food he can find. The almost 16 year old is just the same except that he considers vegetables to be only useful for growing meat and mostly inedible for humans - especially him!

I can only hope that they will decide at some point that growing your own food is a worthwhile activity. Maybe in about 10 years or so.

viv in nz

Chris said...

I think the lessons you teach kids now, only sink in once they take part in the wider world as adults. They figure out "work" is everywhere, you can't escape it! They figure out a diet made of Mc-Everything makes you want to puke more than the fun time in the open air, collecting poo berries, LOL.

They figure it out. In the meantime, well meaning and passionate parents have the burden of corralling their young around the farm. That's my one concession. I tell myself it will sink in when she tastes of the world I tried to escape! ;)