As a young girl, one of the things I found myself loving about food is; you can be a part of the whole process. From planting to nurturing to harvesting and to cooking, I find it intriguing that one can plant peppers, vegetables and fruits somewhere in the house and tend until it becomes what you can easily pluck from the tree in the comfort of your home and cook without stressing to go to the market.
Some days back, I was watching a show “Farmhouse Rules” hosted by Nancy Fuller, an American chef on food network and the basic reason the show interests me is; fresh produce from the farm is usually used to make her novel recipes. The show host takes us to see different farms/gardens in her community and harvests some of the produce to cook. This got me thinking about how much we could maximize our environment and all that abounds in it. Are we sustainability-conscious or eco-unfriendly? Are you mindful of the earth as a planet that needs sustainable growth including planting trees, keeping the air and environment clean?
For many of us, our grandparents and parents had little farms at the back of our houses. They did not need to go to the market to get some basic foodstuff to make a meal. My mum planted varieties of vegetables and fruits at the back of the house including tomatoes, pepper, soursop, pineapple, yams, etc. She also reared chickens and we used the dung as manure for the crops. This is the story of a lot of us. For some, it was as little as having vegetables such as bitter leaf, scent leaf in the backyard; hence, cooking some soups became naturally easier. There is this beautiful feeling of plucking the leaves of a plant one second and the next, it is in the pot. Also, there are other side benefits of having some crops you didn’t consciously plant suddenly shoot out from nowhere. It helps us appreciate the beauty of nature, explore new methods of cooking uncommon vegetables and much more, a bigger proof that our environment is blessed.
Now, the real question is, how many of our children will have this experience? We belong to a distracting generation where everyone wants things done quickly. Canned veggies, frozen packs of chicken, etc. Fruit juice, for example, is one of the heavily processed foods that are consumed highly but can be self-made; I had a taste of one of recent; pure chemicals. While some attribute this high level of processed food consumption to our ever-busy schedules, relatively unconducive urban environment, poor regulation of food processing companies; etc. I would rather blame it on the fast-moving culture of our generation.
Guys, maybe we need to slow down a little bit. Internet, Media, TV are some of our biggest distractions. Can we replace those habits with better ones including building sustainable solutions for our environment? Can we plant a tree, tend a garden or rear small chicks or fish in our houses? In my opinion, planting is the easiest among all these to do. When we plant crops no matter how small, it reminds us of our responsibility to eat good grown and well-nurtured food, we live healthier as a result, and take care of the one planet man has ever known to own in the universe.