HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING!
Thanksgiving comes as a suprise every year here in Canada because we are still weaning off from the long sunny days of our summer. The leaves are just staring to changes colour and things are still relatively green in the Pacific Northwest, but a visit to a pumpkin patch will set autumn into high gear.
There is a sense of quieting down, yet whatever is now harvesting is just bursting like a fireworks’ finale. I cannot help but feel the abundance myself and blessed that my family gets to be on the receiving end of the work from our community’s noble hardworking farmers.
Being able to expose our boys to this kind of simple abundance is truly a dream come true. In contrast to the place where I grew up in Hong Kong, where not a blade of grass was in sight let alone having the kind of expansive spacial experience such as a farm and fresh clean air, where we are now is truly heavenly.
To have available to me the freedom to navigate their childhood experiences and seeing how it really translate into their character development, I am beyond grateful to have this opportunity to parent outside of the mainstream expectations. It is by no means easy to swim upstream from convention but I am given only one chance to set the foundation of these boys and I will not forsake it.
PUMPKIN PATCH VISIT
A few days ago, I took the boys to visit a beautiful yet simple local farm with a small pumpkin patch. I wanted to find one that is not to too commercial so they would not get distracted by all the bells and whistles and be able to experience what actually grows there.
Due to the flexibility of a homeschooling schedule, I decided to visit this farm on what looked like the last sunny dry day for while. It was a Thursday morning, with most people either at school or at work, we pretty much had to whole farm to ourselves to explore. We got to frolic in the field of pumpkins and experience first hand all the different varieties, shapes, sizes and colours pumpkins come in. It was simple yet magical. They both picked a favourite pumpkin/gourd, one looked like a goose and one looked like a starfish. It has been a few days now but they are still relishing in the experience and have been playing caretakers to their new “animal” pumpkin friends and more ways I can imagine possible.
TEACHING GRATITUDE THROUGH FOOD GROWING
Aside from all the obvious benefits of supporting your local farmers and farming community, to me it is one of the best and simplist way to demonstrate a deep sense of gratitude to young children.
After every visit to the farms and/or famer’s markets, during every meal or snack time, there comes a great opportunity to talk about how amazing the farmers are (especially when they have met them) and how hard they work in order for us to enjoy such deliciousness.
By taking them to buy directly from the farm or farmers, the benefits are many folds:
1. They get to go on an adventure to experience something of substance.
2. They get to meet the person that is actually responsible for the food that ends up on their table and in their bodies.
3. They get to see what hardworking looks like.
4. They get to understand where food actually comes from.
5. They get to see up close all the cool gadgets, tools and machinery.
6. They get to experience generosity because most of the time, the farmers will hand them something yummy to chew on.
7. Last but not least, they get to feel a sense of wonder and actually experience true miracles before their eyes. I mean really, isnt’ it a miracle how an ity bitty seed can grow into something so interesting looking and such diverse flavours?!
This autumn, see if you can find a farmer for your children to get to know and develop a relationship with them. By doing so, it is actually an act of living sustainably because you will be part of helping a hard working farmer to feel appreciated and in return they will put more love into the food they grow. Full circle.
Much warmth and blessings,