Every Day Earth

23 Apr

I love Earth day, in a similar way that I love New Year’s day. On New Year’s day, people across the globe are considering ways in which they can start anew. It’s pretty powerful to unite so many people in this way. Earth day is similar in that, across the globe, people are taking the time to notice, talk about and care for the Earth, all at the same time. Of course one can start anew everyday, and we can make every day Earth day.

I spent a few hours today celebrating the day with the community at PS58 in Brooklyn, NY. Butter Beans was asked to have a table, and I was glad to oblige. I came with picture cards of different growing foods that went over quite well, but definitely, the raffle was the hit. In order to enter the raffle, students had to fill out a brief questionnaire:

What are your favorite vegetables?

Do you think it is important for kids to learn how to cook?

Do you think, if we live in New York, that we should eat food that was grown in New York?

Do you think trying new foods is fun?

The prize: 4 tiffins – 1 to raffle every 30 minutes.

The questions were meant to inspire thought. The answers provided some insight for me, as to what kinds of conversations students have had about these subjects already. Many learned today that tomatoes are fruit, that corn is a grain and that peas are legumes. Broccoli and carrots were by far the favorite vegetables. Most thought it important for kids to learn to cook, though a few clearly said no. Most said yes we should eat food grown in NY if we live in NY, but a couple said no, one said why not? another said sometimes, and another said, only if it is clean!

As for trying new foods.. this is admittedly hard for some.

After many conversations with parents, I have come to realize that many of us make great choices about the food that we serve our families. We are looking for fresh food, for local food. We are learning to look at labels and consider where our food is coming from – but we forget to highlight these choices to our children.

If we choose to shop at the farmers market, we can tell our children why we make this choice. How is this different from shopping at the grocery store? Do we choose the California grapes over the Chilean grapes? Why or why not? Do we know where our eggs come from? Share the details! It could be said that everything we love revolves around food. (Our land and our water, our relationships, our gatherings…) Getting young people connected to the food (growing, shopping, cooking, eating), goes a long way in getting them connected to the Earth.

For those of you in Brooklyn looking for events to celebrate this weekend, check out this site.

For those of you anywhere – check out the launch of Shared Earth. This is a new online organization that connects people who have land they’d like to see produce but don’t have the time or know how, to people without land who want to  grow things. It’s a free site to post your land or your skills, and it makes for great use of land, where food and flowers and friendships grow for free.

Every day ideas, for our every day Earth.

One Response to “Every Day Earth”

  1. Rachel Brink November 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    I love your site. Earthday is on my birthday, and so I take it very seriously.

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