Hannah Morgan, the founder of The Wife Behind the Farmer, tells us how she believes the next generation need to be exposed to farming and the benefits of that lifestyle much, much more.
As a farmer’s wife and mummy of two young children, I have my gripes about living and working on a farm however these are far outweighed by the extreme benefits this way of life and up bringing can offer us.
Today it is becoming increasingly evident that the public as consumers are seemingly getting further away from the basic knowledge of where our food comes from and how it is made.
My children will never be the cleanest ones at a party and they’ll usually be late (there is always an issue on the farm), but they will appreciate where the produce comes from and the work and welfare that goes in to feeding people every day.
With this outlook and understanding, I feel as parents we have succeeded.
"Oh so that’s where corn comes from," said my friends three year-old last summer, who was swiftly corrected by my son.
"That’s wheat and Daddy is combining it to make bread!"
I couldn’t have been prouder of my little man (who idolises his farmer Daddy) and at the same time I couldn’t help feeling as if all children should have access to this information.
I’m pretty sure most children believe that much the food we eat originates from the supermarket, but I’m determined to teach my children at least otherwise. The connection children have with the food they eat should be as important as any other lesson taught. That’s why I me and my brood shop at farmer’s markets, take any opportunity to go outside on to the farm and show them produce first hand and enjoy the produce by cooking together.
My children are learning when they don’t realise they are.
It’s amazing what they pick up and absorb.
When I refer to food production, I’m not just talking about the animals and the arable crops, the process of fruit and vegetable picking is right up there too. We’re huge fans of apple picking in September and blackberry foraging in the summer. Showing children what work goes into growing food will hopefully help them learn to waste less and make them appreciate what they’re eating just that little bit more.
Spending time with the cows and sheep on our farm is always a firm favourite with the kids and their friends. Watching them interact with the animals in a hands-on way gives them a certain understanding of how animals should be treated.
By watching Daddy, they learn what’s required for their well-being and how they contribute to farm life.
Being outside in nature is good for your children’ health and stress levels. Not only this, we have a responsibility to expose the future farmers of our country to agriculture and pass on our knowledge, otherwise we’ll see ourselves slipping behind.
"You, as a food consumer, have the privilege of actively participating in shaping the world you children will inherit" - Joel Salatin