I signed up for David Suzuki’s Fall Family Challenge to get back outside.
Yes, even though we are always outside.
Signing up was not so much about needing motivation, but supporting the initiative. Plus, I hope for some new ideas.
This weeks activity recommends biking to a farmer’s market or community garden, then having a discussion about what’s in season and what we can eat locally. Many Saturdays you will find us at our local market, but today I add in a bike and community garden.
Brennyn has no interest in the bike trailer today since she “can ride my pedal bike because I do not have training wheels!” as she will tell anyone and everyone who will listen. That may be so but she’s not quite ready to bike to downtown just yet, so instead we park at the market and take a bike from there to the ocean.
Amidst a slow saunter watching them, Kaya suddenly comes racing back, grabs my hand, and vaults me forward faster. “Look at this!” she squeals and I wonder at what treasures abound. Bird print ones! Perfect ones.
Back on our bikes for a short time, we abandon them once more to practice a little slacklining. The only one I could do was the one that sank right to the ground, Brennyn never did let go of this stump,
Completing the loop and almost back to the car, we stop at the local community garden. Brennyn and I had just visited the one closer to our home the other day, but this did not dim the excitement at seeing things GROW. Their favourite finds are the ones that they actually love to eat. Carrots, zucchini, and peppers, yum! I ooh and ahh over the gorgeous Kale and vibrant cabbage while the girls hop up and down at the mini pumpkins (okay, squash which I try to explain but they keep insisting it’s a pumpkin until we actually find a pumpkin!)
After which, we are starving and I need veggies so we hit up the Farmer’s Market for local veggie pakoras, the must-have kettle corn and a bag full of veggies to take home. We picnic at the park, meet friends who join us and laze on the grass at what has become a delightful sunny afternoon. The girls climb trees and play hide n’ seek with their friends while I contemplate a discussion about food miles and carbon footprints. Only then I realize, having a three and five year old means that they don’t really understand, nor want, a lesson on these things. Not formally. Which doesn’t mean they aren’t still learning about them.
Because just the act of witnessing food arising out of dirt, bursting from a stem gives them wisdom. Digging that dirt, watering those leaves, even more so. Going for a bike, getting really hungry, learning that the kale and carrots in these pakoras we are gobbling up right now, were picked just yesterday is the best kind of lesson.
I’m sure in a few years I will introduce carbon footprint to them more formally. In the meantime, they will come to learn these things as they should.