“Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding”
It wasn’t too very long ago that we were predominantly a agricultural society. People were living off the land, growing their own food, taking the time to prepare family meals and sit down together for dinner, and then preserving and fermenting their bounty for the winter. Whatever could not grown in the family garden was wild harvested to be used for food and medicine.
As we have grown into a more industrialized society we have become a culture of convenience. Grocery store isles have replaced the family garden and fast food has replaced the family dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern conveniences as much as anybody. Like most, I have gotten quite accustomed to our little microwave. What I realize, however, is how disconnected we have become to the earth and where our food actually comes from.
As farms continue to disappear and family gardens, while becoming more popular are still not as common as we would think, the younger generation are less and less connected to where our food comes from and from nature.
Ask anyone and they will tell you that I love being outdoors, whether it’s in my garden or out hiking and foraging for wild edibles. But I have to say that even more than that, one of the most rewarding pleasures for me is teaching others, especially children, where our food comes from. Letting them experience first hand what it is like to grow their own food or searching for wild raspberries in the forest helps them to reconnect with the earth, and our God who created it in a very powerful way. I was remembering today, a very special day when I was blessed to share these lessons with two beautiful young ladies…and what an amazing adventure we had.
Our afternoon began at a natural spring, collecting spring water. This was the very first time either of the girls had ever seen a natural spring or tasted fresh natural spring water. While we were there, we met some very friendly young adults .who also frequent the spring. and enjoyed getting to know them and sharing experiences with each other. I think this is one of my favorite things about going to the spring…all the interesting and friendly people I meet. Since this area has Native American history, the girls had a little lesson on the Native American tradition of blessing the spring and thanking Mother Earth After a prayer thanking God for such a beautiful day, for his wonderful creation and the gift of being able to experience it, we each released a handful of hyssop (which I had brought from my garden) as a gift of gratitude.
Treasured Memories and Happy Hearts
After leaving the spring, we ventured into the mountain forest to see what other treasures awaited us. Although the grapes were not ready for picking quite yet, we picked grape leaves for making dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) later on. But that wasn’t the only treat we found. We also enjoyed picking a bounty of raspberries and blueberries, although I believe more went in our mouths than in our baskets. The girls especially enjoyed picking raspberries and were amazed at how wonderful they tasted.
To end the day, we picked some beautiful elderberry blossoms to use later for teas and tinctures; a lesson for another day.
Our adventure has ended…for today anyway. The girls are leaving not just with a few berries but with knowledge they gained through an experience. They experienced hands on something that they would never learn in any classroom yet empowers them and puts them one step closer to someday using this knowledge to make a positive difference in this world.