Monday, November 18, 2013

From Whence Cometh Your Food?

Brenda Starr and I went for a walk on Saturday.  
We didn't know that we'd end up amidst farm animals and a squash arbor.
Sometimes the best days are serendipitous, don't you think?

Neither of us is ready to cover long distances, but we were game to try. The Rillito River Path has convenient parking and a fairly flat terrain.  Plus, it's paved, which makes tripping and slipping less likely. We are both grateful for those kinds of surfaces.  True Tucsonans, we knew that there would be nothing but scrub brush in the river bed; it's wet only when the snow melt sends water racing down the mountains.  In November, after a fairly dry monsoon, there were doggies and horses and runners cruising through the sand.

Brenda Starr and I walked safely above them, admiring their splendor as we chatted.  And splendid they were, the young blond girl riding her pure white stallion bareback, the brindle boxer snuffling through the underbrush, the parents cradling their infant.  Sunny Saturday mornings are often times of quiet despair for me; being out and about with a new friend helped me put the past into perspective.

We had an interesting perspective on the Master Gardener's piece of the UofA's Cooperative Extension grounds.  The path winds behind the gardens, and it was easy to see, through the fence, that there was a great deal of activity going on in a usually peaceful place. 

Inquiring strollers needed to investigate.
We found a Farm in our Village.

We walked under the squash arbor
pausing for photographs
and wondering why we'd never thought of this idea ourselves.
Mr. 8 is interested in growing his own curcubits; perhaps I'll ask the Fire Chief to build us an arbor instead of a raised bed.  I wonder if watermelons (Mr. 8's plant of choice) will work as well as the squash.

The Village Farm shows children that food is grown, not created in plastic in a factory..
They gave technical tips on improving taste
 and stunned us with surprising facts.
 True to the 4H mission
the Village Farm encourages the home use of the laboratory's research.
They made it easy to get started,
with pint sized tools
 and Village Farm starters.
It was possible to pose for pictures, too.
There was music
and there were helpers for the pretzel making, 
ready to be baked in the horno, an adobe oven. 
Unfortunately, the line was long and there were none ready to taste.
We had to make our own.
That was the point of the festivities, after all.
Cooperative Extension brings the laboratory to the home; they are a participatory group.

Heifer International was there, 
showcasing cow poop
and insect cookies 
we would not like to try one.

The worm pit, on the other hand, was quite simply wonderful.
To those of you who live with soil beneath your plants, this may not look like much.
For those of us who try to garden in dirt, it was a moment of pure heaven.

We walked back to the parking lot and our two, little, white cars, 
which had not managed to mate and create a baby Audi TT while we were gone, 
and made plans for our next adventure. 

I went off to Pilates with this pinned to my chest.
It was a wonderful sunny Saturday morning.


  1. Alas, it'll be months before there are farmers' markets up here. Your photos are a lovely taste of why they are so enjoyable.

    1. I've been so lucky to live here and in Marin, where there are no weather constraints on the markets. There's not much local food here, but I buy what there is and feel grateful every time.

  2. I love Farmers Markets in my area. We have them from May until November and there is one very close by my house. I do not have a green thumb, but love vegetable gardens. We had one in our old house and I've always wanted one at our current house because we have a nice backyard. We also have a garden club at the office and our office has generously put aside land for the garden club to have plots. We have a number of people that live in our campus and wanted to garden. I so wish we could have one this spring. Hoping I can convince hubby to start one this coming-up year.

    Love when you post pixs of your outings. :)

    Megan xxx


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