Lift your spir­its with plants

go! Platteland - - CHITCHAT -

When to­day’s young­sters hear the words “Black­berry” or “Ap­ple”, they’re more likely to think of smart­phones than fruit. And who can blame them? Th­ese days fewer peo­ple have rel­a­tives liv­ing in the plat­te­land, so don’t have the chance to visit and ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing close to na­ture. So many peo­ple live in town­houses, apart­ments and se­cu­rity com­plexes, ei­ther with paved grounds or a tiny (of­ten piti­ful) gar­den. Some chil­dren don’t even know where fruit and veg­eta­bles come from, much less how, where or when to plant them.

On a re­cent visit to a dairy farm I heard a boy tell his dad he’d rather stick to the su­per­mar­ket milk in a plas­tic bot­tle, be­cause he couldn’t see him­self try­ing cow’s milk – not even in his coffee. (I shud­der to think what will hap­pen when he finds out where eggs come from.)

There are ways to bring chil­dren closer to Mother Earth to learn more about the food they eat, even if it is only by plant­ing a few fruit and veg­eta­bles in your own gar­den. Some veg­gies will de­liver re­mark­able har­vests when planted in pots – there’s some­thing very spe­cial about the taste and flavour of home-grown pro­duce, as well as wit­ness­ing the joy of a child who has plucked the tomato he’s eat­ing.

Ev­ery house once had a veg­etable gar­den, but nowa­days most peo­ple don’t know that ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the beauty of a flower de­vel­op­ing into a fruit can lift a dark mood. Or that a sour face will inevitably smile when you feel the smooth tex­ture of an egg­plant, or smell and taste the “per­fume” of a sun-ripened tomato. You’ll feel so much hap­pier if you al­low your kids and loved ones to share in the fruits and joy of your gar­den, even if it is grow­ing in a pot on the veranda.

Thank you for the reg­u­lar veg­gie gar­den and pet ar­ti­cles in Plat­te­land.

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