The Kids Cook Monday – Farm Fresh

Cooking With Kids, Local Food May 30, 2011
Late Saturday morning, after picking up our Bountiful Basket and jumping into the pool for swimming lessons, the kids and I headed over to Agritopia for their u-pick event.  Agritopia is a community centered around a working urban farm.  We drive by it almost every day and even walk along the paths between the community gardens almost every week.  I always enjoy taking a peek at the fresh produce and flowers that are popping up.  There are many times that I want to jump over the fence and pull out a stalk of ruby red chard or pick an heirloom tomato from the vine.  But I don’t.  I’m a rule follower (and definitely not a thief).  When I found out that Agritopia was holding a u-pick event on Saturday, I could hardly contain my excitement.  I can go into the garden and pick produce!  Legally!

Our kitchen table was already packed with produce from our Bountiful Basket, so I didn’t plan on picking much.  I was more excited about the experience of taking the kids to see how food actually grows.  
We started with the peach trees.  Because we couldn’t go earlier, the trees were pretty picked over.

We found many peaches that were too small and green,
and even more that were overripe and smashed on the ground.

Finally we found a tree that had good peaches within reach!  
Of course we had to test them out to make sure that they were ok.

They were.

Next, we found some apples.

Leila tested those out too.

Finally it was time to head over to the organic vegetable garden.  I have walked by this so many times and have wanted to get my hands on those beautiful veggies.  I was so excited!

We walked past the row of onions, 

and onto the carrots.  Joe reached down and gave a tug.

Notice the half-eaten apple in one hand and giant carrot in the other.  Such fun!

Joe also found a beautiful beet in the next row over.

By this time, Leila was beet, I mean beat.  The hot sun was a little too much for her.  Joe picked eight cherry tomatoes, then we went to weigh and pay.

For $10, this is what we came home with.  

Joe and I immediately washed, peeled and ate the giant carrot. 
I cleaned up the beet for dinner.  The outside was such a pretty pink color, definitely different than the deep red beets we are used to.  

When I cut the root off, Joe and I were surprised by the pink and white stripes.

After boiling and skinning the beet it’s true beauty was revealed.  What a stunning display!  Joe wasn’t quite sure about it, but after the first bite he exclaimed, “Mom, I like this beet!”
The best part of the entire day was watching Joe and Leila get excited about fresh fruits and vegetables.  Because he picked them with his own hands, Joe ate parts of a carrot, beet and a handful of cherry tomatoes (not to mention all of the fruit).
We can’t wait to do it again.

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  • Reply Jesse @ Happy Go Lucky Vegan May 31, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I just love the pictures of your sweet kids, and those beets!! I can't believe I don't receive Bountiful Baskets – it's such a cool idea.

  • Reply Nicole, RD May 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    What a gorgeous beet!! I love those colors! I can't wait to take my kids on adventures like this…it's so important for kids to understand where food comes from and how amazing fruits and vegetables are :)

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