Although the Fredericksburg Farmers Market wasn’t on the agenda for the weekend, my husband was able to find a wonderful replacement. Between tests on Saturday, I had an hour break so Evan took me to an awesome place in Richmond called “Farm to Family.” It is a small, family run store that sells locally grown produce, grass-fed meat, baked goods, and milk. In addition to their store, they also have a “Farm Bus” that travels to areas that may not have access to fresh produce and they “teach people what it is and how to cook it.” WOW!! What an awesome concept!! I immediately wanted to board the bus and never get off…unfortunately it was a short visit and I had to be pried away from the Farm Bus and store back to my tests. Before I left, though, I made sure I was able to get a few things that I could take back to Stafford to eat for the week. We got a huge butternut squash, some gorgeous cauliflower, broccoli, and apples, as well as some milk. Although milk isn’t “paleo” it does have a great protein to carbohydrates ratio and I like to drink it after workouts, but I think I’m going to have a really hard time reserving this milk for such times. It is minimally pasteurized and sold for the consumption of pets, but I got home and remembered I didn’t have any pets…. so I’ve been drinking it and BOY is it delicious!
Back to this concept of teaching people about fresh food and it’s importance. A country girl like me takes for granted that a lot of kids don’t realize where (or what) their food comes from. Often times my students will ask me what I’m eating for lunch because they don’t recognize the vegetables on my plate. It’s moments like these that really make me concerned about the future of our country. I would be willing to bet that there are an alarming number of students at my school who don’t eat a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable a single time throughout the course of the week. Food that doesn’t come in a package is foreign to them!
Although I don’t have a Farm Bus (yet), I try to use my classroom as a place to not only learn about Algebra, English, Social Skills, Personal Finance, U.S. and World History, but life skills like nutrition. I use every opportunity I have to teach kids about the importance of the quality and quantity of food they’re eating. It’s often times ill-received, but I know some of it sticks and if I keep trying maybe it will make a difference in their lives.
So what can you do without a Farm Bus? You can start by introducing your family to some fruits or veggies that are new to them. This week in the meal plan I’ve included eggplant, spinach, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash in the menu, have they had any of those? My sister has done a wonderful job of introducing her kids to all of those “strange” foods by taking them to the farmers market, letting them help in the kitchen, and I would imagine by being a little stubborn when her kids resist. Your kids may surprise you, and you may surprise yourself! The fresh food movement starts at home, YOUR home. Start today by getting rid of a processed food and replacing it with something fresh!! Bon Appetit!
To read more about the fabulous “Farm to Family” go to: http://www.farmtofamilyonline.com/