Harvesting A Love Of Real FoodTue 25 Oct 2011
Story by Kim Gerber
It’s a perfect fall day in Los Angeles. With the crisp air blowing away the haze and our Minivan loaded with baskets and kids, we pull onto the busy Los Angeles Freeway. Inching through traffic, we make our way toward the peace of the nearby countryside - a place where chickens cluck contentedly, where water and sun soak the earth and where my children will run freely through rows of pumpkins and squash to discover their love of real, freshly grown food.
Pulling into the tree-lined dirt road of our local U-Pick farm, we are suddenly surrounded by acres and acres of deep green vines speckled with orange pumpkins, trees dotted with red and yellow apples, and row upon row of rich earth, separated by thick plants sheltering unknown treasures within their leaves.
Picking fruits and vegetables with kids is a fantastic way to introduce them to new tastes, and come fall U-pick farms and orchards are open for business. Not only are U-Pick farms a fabulous family activity, but they are also a great way for children to learn the beauty of fall produce and get excited about real food.
As we head home, minivan slightly heavier with the weight of our freshly picked produce, we anticipate the warmth of our kitchen and the delicious foods we will create with our bounty. The kids will hollow out Butternut squash to roast with a hint of maple syrup, pumpkins will be scooped by little hands and turned into pastries, pies, fillings and stews, and hearty Kale will be sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt then roastedinto chips. For our family, the path to the love of real food is paved by U-pick farms and our kitchen.
It is here, gathered around the kitchen table that we tuck into our harvest. I watch with admiration as one son pulls the bowl of Kale Chips closer to him, gobbling them as fast as he can, and another scoops thick spoonful’s of maple butternut squash, straight from the skin.
Fall is a season of change. What better opportunity to nourish our children’s bodies and create lasting memories of health, family, and good food.
For U-Pick Farm locations near you, visit Pickyourown.org
For a delicious Family-Friendly Fall Recipe see Jamie Oliver’s Squash and Ricotta Pasta Bake
For More Out of the Box Food ideas and Recipe’s for Fall, visit OutoftheBoxFood
About the author: Kim Gerber is a Los Angeles wife, mom, children’s nutrition advocate and author of www.outoftheboxfood.com, a website dedicated to deconstructing processed kid food and offering fresh alternatives to families.
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