Food deserts are roughly described as urban areas further than one or so miles from a store offering a variety of fresh foods. Some folks are not so fortunate as I to have in house delivery of their groceries.
This program talked about how those pesky community organizers are working to bring fresh food to folks who are without wheels or easy walking distance of a large grocery store. The examples were of older folks who do not drive, people of various handicaps and young parents that have to walk to the store dragging their kids along and then trying to get back home safely with bags of groceries, kids, bags of heavy apples, gallons of milk etc etc.
One idea that is gaining traction are food mobiles, kind of like book mobiles or ice cream trucks, that bring fresh fruit and veggies to the neighborhoods. They talked about one that delivers in Chicago. It struck me when the fellow mentioned the time he had a sample tray out and a 9 year old girl asked what the round blue thing was on the tray. It was a blueberry. She had never seen or tried one before. He commented that the pleasure shown on her face upon eating it made all his efforts worth it. A simple. Sweet. Blue. Berry. ….. can change a person’s life.
Amazing I thought, the night before my niece, 7, asked when we’d be going to that Jill lady’s blueberry house to pick blueberries. She was referring to Jill Berke’s Blue Ridge Growers orchard between Hudson and River Falls. She knew and assumed how easy it would be to just get in the van and have mommy drive us, get a bucket and go pick fresh blueberries and life is good. Never a thought that there are kids who have never even seen a blueberry, much less on the bush.
Have your kids or you ever had the pleasure of berry picking? Either at an orchard or in the woods? I really enjoy picking wild blackberries, gooseberries, strawberries and now that my blueberry bushes are starting to produce, them too. Even if you pick one pint, just to get out and experience it, makes it so much more real to a kid. I feel sure the fruits are even sweeter when you pick them yourself.
Another sister of mine, Bridgette Preston from Alaska, is here too, she wrote and recited a poem the kiddies up in Palmer, Alaska know about picking wild blueberries. Not so sure Jill Berke would ‘’approve’’ of this method, but she would surely smile at the thought behind it. Here it is for you enjoyment.
Blueberry picking together
Pick a berry eat a berry
Pick a berry blue
You pick one for me and I’ll pick one for you
Pick a berry eat a berry
pick a berry blue
You eat some and I eat some
We both eat quite a few