Pumpkins! It might be strange to be talking pumpkins smack dab in the middle of July but right now that is what is on our minds. We planted these tiny seeds back in May with my dad- A.K.A. Poppa- we have been waiting and watching all summer and with in the past couple of weeks- since the last time we had been to Poppa's house- the great Pumpkin Invasion of 2012 has happened. The pumpkins have left the garden and started creeping towards the house, perhaps they want to see the world before Halloween? Or at least a different part of the yard before they end up as a Jack O Lantern confined to the front step!
This garden of my parents is such an amazing thing in our life, while we city folk are stuck with container gardens on the deck- combating pigeons and the shade, this garden grows in lush adundance. My Grandma was a gardener, her sister- my Great Aunt was a gardener, my mom- and now my dad are also gardeners, growing and eating what you have produced runs deep in our family. Once- in the not to distant past- my ancestors were farmers and so I guess you could say gardening is just in our blood. I can't wait for the day to have property of our own on which we can have a garden- until then we will just have to mooch off my parents!
The fact that Canada as a nation no longer produces enough food to feed it's self, that we are turning into a mono-crop country, that people do not know or care where their food comes from is a terrifying yet real truth. The production of commodity crops -such as corn,wheat and soybeans-from which a great majority of pre-packaged, supermarket foods come from is cheap- and because these cheap crops make up the majority of food in the grocery store our food has stayed cheap. Is cheap food good for you? Is it even so cheap these days? I am always astonished at our bill from the grocery store- "we got two bags of groceries and it was that much!" is a common phrase I have been heard to mutter.
There are so many technologies in which to enrich our lives with these days, make things easier, help us learn new skills; and yet so many of the old ways are being forgotten and passed by because they are too hard or labour intensive. My own personal goal this summer/fall is to learn how to preserve or "can" food. My parents have assured me they will share their top secret marinara recipe with me which is exciting considering tomato sauce is a food group all of it's own around here.
I feel it is so important for our kids to watch the pumpkins that they planted grow, to lift up the trailing vines and reveal beans to be picked, to tend and water plants in a gentle manner. This slow process of growing food and learning patience makes the food we grow taste all the more better!