"I would like Indian food pleeeassse!" 5 year old Gracen Matai Meyers pleads with his mom, his blonde head bouncing up and down as he plays on the floor with his cars. Unlike typical children, who'd prefer chicken nuggets and tater tots, Gracen actually just requested Indian food. I'm shocked by his request. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know what Indian food was when I was 5!
Gracen and his amazing lunch bag
“You had that for lunch yesterday. We're going to a farm today, so I’m just packing sandwiches” his mom states from the kitchen.
“I want Indian food again!.” Gracen expresses one last time before showing me his man-sized lunch pale where he can have hot food in one section and cold in the other, both maintaining their temperature at school till time for lunch. He finishes his explanation by showing me where his curry soup had been the day before.
My brain races: Ahhh, well no wonder I had never heard of Indian food at age 5. My metal Holly Hobby lunchbox had no fancy hot/cold thermal abilities.
Passion fruit flower
Lisa's trees produce so much fruit in fact, that she collects the extra bushels and barters with the local produce stand, trading lemons, oranges, figs, etc. for a variety of veggies that she doesn’t grow. And then it hit me:
Lisa has created a life for herself, full of free food!
It’s an eye opener in a day and age where sharing within a community is not common practice unless you're on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania or in the face of a major disaster.
A Modern day Pioneer Woman raising her child to know the land and all it can give, to embrace varied cultures, and accept and enjoy endless flavors of food.
Underwood Farms, (website),
is unique because they allow the public to come and pick their own produce! It's not only cheaper and fresher than purchasing from a grocery store, but it also helps to cut the costs of transportation for the farm.
By picking their own fruits and vegetables, people learn about food and where it comes from. What a difference from the rows of processed boxed items lining grocery store aisles that we "21st century folks" call... food.
As I looked around, I decided this was one of the most brilliant days I’ve had in a while!
To bring the entire experience full circle along with the farm providing fun daily activities for the family, they also have seasonal festivals, live music and other events.
I realized we all can be Modern Day Pioneers...
When we got back to Lisa and Gracen's house I inquired about the expense and challenge of keeping all of her trees alive and healthy. As it turns out, Lisa acquired some of her trees for free from local festivals and city tree giveaways. She shared how the upkeep mostly included basic tasks of trimming and watering, though some years she tends to them better than others. Her trees include lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, avocado, passion fruit, fig, grapes, apricot, pomegranate, plum, nectarine, peach, Fuji apple, pear, cherry, tangerine, & loquat.
I find everyday I live & breathe to be a gift.