Monday, June 23, 2008

Connecting Kids to the World

I offered to the my son Stephen's teacher the chance to come and see our chickens. So today we have 20 kids from Mrs Favell's grade two class from Tillicum Elementary come and see the chickens.

It went quite well. The kids enjoyed holding the chickens, petting them, feeding them and seeing where eggs come from. Mrs Burleigh the principle as came along and took some pics.

I plan of telling them that the chickens are available for other classes to come and see.

This fits into my plan to have people understand that you can produce your own food. I think it is really important for kids to see this because we are getting further and further removed from our agricultural roots.

Before world war two, most people in Canada were still connected to a farm is some way. For my generation a lot of us had parents that grew up on the farm. For my children, this means their grandparents generation where the ones on the land. The connection is getting further and further away.

Children seem alienated from where their food comes from and how the natural world works. What I find most interesting is that is seems to be the youth that are better educated that are more disconnected.

Food is so cheap to buy at the big stores or the Red Barn Market that it makes very little sense to grow any of your own. Since most people no longer grow their own, their children are not connected to the land where the food comes from.

Yes, I know you are all thinking this is going so some sort of 'food security' or neo hippie eco thing, but it is not. I find the concept of 'food security' as an issue fundamentally flawed. I find the 100 mile diet ideas also fundamentally flawed - most small scale growers produce a larger environmental footprint than a large scale grower in a different part of the world.

For me having chickens, growing food, making jams, and other things like that are all about being connected to the place where I am. There are no people on earth as disconnected from the places where they live than the people on the west coast of North America. How can I really say I live in Victoria if I do not know what grows well here and when it grows?

I glad I gave classroom full of kids the chance to hold real chickens and fresh eggs that were still warm. It is a piece of my Illahie revolution.

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