Six Clean Plates

Submitted by Lisa Marvier of Farm Girl Nursery. Find them on facebook [here].

Last weekend I had all of the cousins over for a camping adventure on the property. They range in age from 7 – 12. Most are very easy going when it comes to food from the garden and are eager to try new dishes. However, 2 of the bunch refused and have always refused to try anything! Breaks my heart. This year it was going to be different.

The deal was you can spend the night, sleep in the tent, sit by the campfire and roast smores only and only after you have worked in the garden and helped to pick the veggies for dinner. This years crop included cauliflower, leeks, onions, fennel, garlic and basil. The kids promptly hopped in the hot tub allowing me to clean the produce. After their showers they strolled into the kitchen one by one and we chopped, very finely all of our ingredients. They watched and participated in the making. The salmon was prepped with fresh garlic, a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, lemon and popped into the oven. Rice was thrown into the rice cooker and we were on our way.

We talked about the veggies from the garden, how they thought we could prepare them in the future, what they loved about the harvesting process and more. The veggies were sautéed, each child got a stir or two and then we were ready to plate. Something was different this time. They all were excited to know how their little creation was going to turn out. Beautiful plates were plated with a nice amount of rice. On top of the rice we did a large spoonful of the sautéed cauliflower (remember tiny, tiny), fennel, garlic, basil and leeks. Atop that our lovely salmon and garnished with a pinch of fresh basil. What a treat! The kids picked up their forks and in what seemed like an instant the plates were bare – I was astounded. The first thing I did was to call my parents who were in complete shock that the two girls not only ate but tried something new. Then I was on the phone to my brother who did not believe me. Here’s the SECRET: the kid’s had a vested interest. They picked the veggies, they cooked, they talked about the meal and in the end they wanted to know what it tasted like. Of course it was fabulous. Mission accomplished. I think I’m onto something here!

Images courtesy of Farm Girl Nursery. Visit them on facebook for more photos.

Farm Girl Nursery

Farm Girl Nursery opened on March 24th of this year in Novato, California. It’s pretty much been an experiment, according to owner Lisa Marvier who is excited about what might happen next. The fact that she knows that she is making a difference in the world means everything to her. Farm Girl Nursery is full of fresh organic fruits and veggies as well as a variety of animals, some of which are rescued like her former racehorses. They have also opened up a camp for kids, where they can learn about how food is grown and even do some of the cooking themselves. Lisa also encourages people to reuse materials in ways they have never thought of, instead of just buying new. She encourages kids in her camp to recycle everything from their homes: egg cartons, soda bottles, water bottles, milk containers…anything that they can use to start seeds. Lisa discovered that the plastic cartons with tops are great because they act as mini greenhouses!

We just had to meet up with Lisa (interview below) to learn more about Farm Girl Nursery, her philosophies and her future plans. You can connect with Lisa and Farm Girl Nursery through e-mail: marvier@comcast.net, over the phone: (415) 730.6917 or through their facebook page found [here]. Their current hours of operation are Wednesday and Saturday from 10-4PM.

NM: Why do you think it is important for people to grow their own food and or buy natural food grown locally?

Lisa: I see so many ill informed people all over the country. They eat what their parents eat, their parents are in a hurry, and they forget about health and nutrition. When you grow your own food it means something. You see a seed turn into a harvest and you want to eat it, prepare it and enjoy it. Eating locally is everything. I often ask my son to read the ingredients in the food he wants to eat because the “other” kids like it. I then ask him what is in an apple, a green bean, an orange. He gets it. His breakfast often consists of a walk through the gardens picking blueberries, strawberries, peas, carrots and tomatoes. It puts a huge smile on my face and heart! Continue reading