We take our food for granted.
Not just the food itself. But the whole idea of food. Growing it. Harvesting it. Sometimes even preparing it.
I love gardening (please note I did not claim to be good at gardening). Ever since my kids were little, we’ve always had a patch of the yard dedicated to growing food (or at least attempting to grow food).
I have always wanted my kids to feel the dirt beneath their fingers. To understand that food comes from somewhere much more complex than the grocery store. To see that some foods we eat grow underground, others above. To watch a tiny seed sprout into a gigantic plant. To see how much water it takes to keep plants thriving. To see how long and how patient we must be to reap the harvest (in a world of instant gratification where we can have anything we want at any given moment, this lesson is crucial…some things really are worth waiting for). To see that nature has a balance and sometimes destruction is beyond our control (like the year all of our pomegranates molded from too much rain).
Life’s lessons are often just waiting behind the garden gate.
But sometimes life is messy. It’s not in organized rows like our garden. It’s helter skelter with wild grapevines twisting around the trunks of willow trees. It’s hemlock growing alongside black raspberries. It’s poison ivy slowly creeping up a mulberry tree. It’s a tiny patch of lamb’s quarter mixed in a field of wildflowers.
Sometimes we have to step out of the garden and into the wild to teach our children valuable lessons.
Today was one of those wild days.
A life lesson hidden amidst mosquitoes and humidity. A lesson that sometimes the sweaty work is worth the sweet jelly waiting at the end of the day. A lesson that nature provides if we just know where to look. A lesson that sometimes the sweetest things are a little out of our reach and we just have to get creative in our attempt to capture them.
If you’d like to learn more about these incredible wild Mustang Grapes, please see my previous Nature Study: Wild Grapes post. If you happen to be in the South Texas area, these grapes were found out at Pollywog Pond.
If you do decide to brave the mosquitoes and forage for your own delicious grapes, I recommend Jennifer’s recipe (I did use the butter but left out the lemon juice)…it really turned out delicious.