I wish I could put into words how it feels to really provide for your family and no, I don't mean in a monetary sense. This is probably one of the single most important things I do as a Mother, Wife, Woman and Human Being. Not to mention, it seems in western society this is becoming a forgotten way of life that is making a come back. (Thank heavens!)
I am not a stay at home Mom. I am married to an awesome Husband., I work outside my home caring for our Elderly, I have my home based business "The Art of Zen.......Crochet", I have 1 daughter aged 14, and Two boys ages 7 and 4. I am busy, but being with my family, "providing" the best food I can grow and make for them is an absolute for me. I am giving the gift of Nutrition and therefore "Health" to my children. Not to mention, I am passing these skills on to my children.
So how do I do it? How do I make the best food a priority? We grow as much of our own food as we are capable, and every year we grow more.
The Truth is not everyone can or is even willing to grow a garden. Understandably, not everyone the has room or the time. So what about community gardening? One great program available in quite a few communities is a box program, where you have a "share" in a local farm. Take your children blueberry or strawberry picking at a local farm. Take the produce home, wash and can or freeze, or even better let the kids help you make freezer jam! Its not hard. Grow a Tomato plant on your patio, and enjoy going out to pick them and eat them right off the plant, still warm from the sun or make your own tomato sauce. My children love being told to go into the garden and have snack. We keep the hose handy to wash what they get, and they enjoy amazing food that they have helped us grow!
If you do plant a garden, don't do it alone, involve your family, ask them to help.
We could never get the garden planted without my children's help. One of us will go along and make the holes for the seeds, another one will put the seeds in, then another will cover them up. It gives my kids a wonderful sense of worth to be directly involved wit our well being as a family. You don't need fancy equipment. Just, the right soil for what you are planting, and an appropriate container or bed.
Have you ever been cooking a meal, and then decided to go get something out of your garden to add to that dish? Bringing what you have grown or purchased locally to your table is such an amazing feeling! It gives me true gratification, elation, satisfaction and zen to feed my family food we have produced our selves or has been grown locally. I know it is "good food", that it will truly Nurture their bodies, and give them what they need.
Winter time? Grow some sprouts in a jar, or lettuce on your window sill!
Need more info on Gardening? Our Elders our one of our best sources for tips on how to grow food. Personally I have been lucky enough to learn from many Elders on how to grow my food. Try contacting your local gardening center and see if they carry books written by Agriculturists in and for your area. Your local library will have loads of books. The Internet can also be a great source of information. If you are new to gardening, pick only a few easy items to start with.
Want to learn to cook and preserve your food? Try searching for a "Community Kitchen" Group or even check out the Health Food Stores in your area. You can learn to make the most of a dollar, the art of bread making, baking, stews, soups, casseroles and so on. Most often you can find groups will plan events such as canning, or learning to freeze your own produce for little to know cost. You just bring your own supplies and food, and then get to learn how.
Harvest time in the fall is when most of these groups get together. But you could start your own.
So I am challenging you to try growing some of your own food and see what difference you can make.
Remember its about the journey, not the destination.
Happy Zen Gardening!