Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharing What We Know

For the past few months I've been tutoring a young doctor from Central America in English pronunciation. He immigrated to Canada, hoping to practice medicine. It's a long haul and he needs to pass an oral English exam, hence the tutoring. The other day, before he left, I offered him a bag of green beans and another of tomatoes from the garden. 

"Oh," he said, "can you show me how they grow?"

"Of course." So off we went into the garden. I showed him the butternut squashes trying to take over the world, the tomatoes ripening, the tall green bean towers, the raspberry canes and more. He was fascinated by the herbs, especially the chives, and asked to take a few home. I clipped a big bunch for him, and threw in a couple of the flowers telling him they were edible, too.

He was amazed. "Can I bring my children to see this?" And he did, along with his wife.

I let the children pick tomatoes, find ripe raspberries and pulled a few carrots for them. They had never seen a vegetable garden. Can you imagine? What fun it was to see their excitement. "Mira, papi," they said in their sweet Spanish voices, "look." 

This morning, I picked tomatoes and herbs and turned them into salsa. Growing a garden and preserving food are skills I learned from my parents. What a rich heritage to understand the source of our food. And I wonder what else I take for granted that others in the world have not experienced.


  1. Pass the salsa please! Looks yummy! How great that you are helping this doctor. We had a young intern from Africa at our church in Hanna. When he came out to our farm and saw the yard and the BnB building and our home, his comment was "All of this for one family? " He couldn't get over all the space we have! So yes, there are lots of things we take for granted. It is interesting to see things through someone else's eyes.

  2. Are they city dwellers? You are doing a wonderful thing for this doctor and his family. Thank you for describing the children's delight in seeing the garden. Hope that they enjoy the food, too!

  3. That must have been quite a revelation for the family to see your garden. How sad that they didn't know about growing food.

  4. An eastern Indian family with their mother visiting from India came onto my property to take pictures by and of my pear tree. They were amazed at it's beauty. I tried to convince them to pick some pears and take them home but they refused. What fun for you to share this new experience with this doctor and his family!
    Your salsa looks real good!

  5. The salsa looks fabulous, Lorrie. The doctor sounds like a willing student, ready to learn what he can about his new home.

  6. What a beautiful experience to share with this family...I love it.

    And your jars from the kitchen looks so delicious....I can almost smell it.

  7. It warms the heart when you show something to somebody who has never seen it before. The wonder in their eyes and the questions that we have long forgotten to ask that we are happy to answer is quite humbling in this ever changing world. Will they be tasting the salsa? It looks delicious! xx

  8. Hello Lorrie
    All I can say is he was very lucky to find you!
    Your vege garden sounds like heaven to me too!
    I envy you growing berries, I think Auckland is too humid and I suspect one needs cold winters and dry hot summers.
    I enjoyed picking the raspberries in my daughters garden in France! We made sure we left the low hanging fruit for Jessie to nibble on as she made her way up the garden!
    Shane x

  9. I think that is just wonderful! Makes one wonder doesn't it? Children in large cities, apartment buildings, tenements, etc. never seeing a garden or knowing where food comes from - that is sad. I'm glad you made a difference for these children. Maybe they will take that home with them.

  10. It's so true that many people have never had the opportunity to feel the dirt between their fingers...that's why city community gardens are so important.

    What a great memory you have given to those kids...

    And your salsa looks delish.


  11. It is sad when children don't have the opportunity to experience a garden and growing things. We have an abundance of tomatoes right now, so I made tomato jam for the first time. It is delicious! Strange, but out squash cross pollinated and turned into something not so good. How wonderful for you to share your garden with this family. Your tomatoes look beautiful in the jar.

  12. What a wonderful post! I love that you shared knowledge with him and he shared his children's sense of wonder at what you might be tempted to take for granted . . . what an exchange!

  13. I can't help but think "and a seed was planted"...whether it be the Dr or his children someday growing a garden of their own.

    I was thinking of you as I began my formal French classes earlier this week. I think I might need a tutor. Wish you were closer. :)

  14. What a lucky family - and a lucky you - to have this experience together. Your jars of salsa look wonderful - summer is grand - for new friends and for fresh vegetables and fruit.

  15. I just have to leave another reply - it just occurred to me, if everyone in the world would share gardens we've have no more war. We'd all be too busy eating and enjoying the friendships.

  16. I just have to leave another reply - it just occurred to me, if everyone in the world would share gardens we've have no more war. We'd all be too busy eating and enjoying the friendships.

  17. It is amazing how many people these days are totally unconnected with the food that they eat. We were raised in households with gardens, so naturally, we gardened throughout most of our adult life. We don't have room for a garden now, but we still grow an assortment of herbs for our cooking! Bless you for passing some knowledge on to others!


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