Colors of the Rainbow

3 Aug

Recently, I made a trip to downtown Salt Lake City, where my two 4′ x 20′ plots are located in a community garden. I weeded, trimmed and cut back plants to my absolute satisfaction. With the sun warming my skin, I looked over my plots with pride, taking in all the lush green, yellow, orange, red and pink. I lazily breathed in the earthy goodness. Why is gardening so therapeutic anyway?

The only plant ready to harvest was my Rainbow Swiss Chard. I carefully plucked the outer leaves off of my plants and I had an array of colors- red, pink, yellow, orange and green. I have never actually eaten Swiss Chard before, but I was told it is great for juicing, which I am an avid fan of. So, I thought I’d give it a shot. It is by far the easiest thing I have grown to date. I grew it from seed and it grew to maturity really quickly; 45 days or less. It was quite resilient with all the flooding rains and the opposing heat we’ve experienced this summer. You go swiss chard! Sadly, my spinach wasn’t blessed with the same tenacity.

I headed home with my surplus (seriously, I have a ton. If you want some, lemme know) of chard and began to prepare it. I enlisted Carter to help me with the washing and separating of the chard. He was marginally interested in the project- only because he had been the one to plant the seeds. We had an assembly-style operation taking place. I would inspect the chard (for damaged stems or worse- bugs!), wash the chosen chard and give it a quick shake. I would then pass it off to Carter who would blot the chard with a paper towel and lay it out nicely on a dry towel. Our system was very efficient and quite methodic. As I inspected, washed and shook, I would occasionally hear a snapping noise behind me. I noticed it the first few times and kept right on with my job. Eventually, there became a real rhythmic way to the snapping;  Snap-crunch-crunch-Snap-crunch-crunch-Snap-crunch-crunch

What the?

I turned around and to my sheer horror, I found Carter biting off a piece of stem off every. single. piece. of chard! What the?! What the?!

Now, let me just tell you- Carter is pretty much a carnivore. I have done my best to subtly impress my views on refraining from meat and eating a mostly plants-based diet. Let’s just say it hasn’t stuck. Or so I thought.

For some reason beyond my comprehension, Carter actually enjoyed eating swiss chard. So I didn’t interrupt him. I didn’t interfere into his exploration of this new vegetable. I didn’t shout, “You’re contaminating the chard!!” (I must admit, contamination always crosses my mind. I’m a bit of a germaphobe). I was simply content with the fact that if he CHOSE to eat vegetables, who was I to get in the way?

Perhaps because of his involvement in the gardening process (picking out seeds, preparing soil, planting the seeds, watering multiple times a week and finally, harvesting the chard), he saw more value and appreciation in this miraculous plant, and therefore, it appeared more appetizing.

According to Health.com, studies of after-school programs suggest that kids who garden are more likely to eat the produce they grow as well as the ones you put on their plate.

Here are some good ideas on growing a garden with the kiddos in mind and hopefully in turn, encouraging them to eat just a little more healthily.

Colors as vibrant as the rainbow helps too.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: