Vegetable season is upon us, and I hope you will look for organic seeds and plants. Organic options are available for many vegetables and herbs. If you do not grow a garden yourself, perhaps you can visit your local farmer’s market for organic local lettuce, milk, tomatoes, fruits, and herbs. Shop for meat that has been provided by cows fed on grass and free range pastures, and shop for eggs that come from a happy hen that is free to run, eats bugs, and basks in the sun.
Did you grow up having Sunday dinners at your grandparents’? I remember how my grandfather would walk to the market to shop and come home and cook a special dinner for us to eat at a beautifully set table. If we spent the weekend with him, he would get up early and mix up his special pancakes while he whistled away in the kitchen. Looking back, I know now this was how he showed us his love. I was very lucky to have a father-in-law that was the same way—who always cooked whatever our favorite meal was—and this too was how he showed his love for us. American meals should have meaning, a time to sit and talk and share, a time to slow down and prepare a healthy, nutritious meal together, eat together, savor the moment of the meal by being fully present, and clean up together.
When was the last time you thought about where your food came from? How was your food transported? Was it grown locally? How were the milking cows, hens, and meat cows treated? How were the employees that work at the slaughterhouse treated? The field workers that picked your fruit and vegetables? We have a voice to say we want our food grown without pesticides and hormones, and we can ensure good food practices for our future generations.
I hope this spring and summer you slow down and prepare a good meal together and enjoy the meaning in sharing a meal with your family and friends. Feed your body and your soul.
by Robyn Affron
Visitor Services Coordinator
Certified Professional Horticulturist