When I was around five years my grandmother had a garden in which she grew
things like Dahlias, mint, tomatoes, squash, beans, etc. I realized this
summer, while tending my two Cornell garden plots that I knew what mint
looked like because of my grandmother. Further, I have recognized sage for
a long time due to long walks with my grandfather who pointed it out.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have our grandparents, or parents around
for that matter or to have ownership or access to land.
I think the "general public's" failure to recognize sources of what they
consume is complex - education, politics,socio-economic considerations etc.
As I get older I realize that sources of knowledge come from way back ----
like where did I learn that carrots need thinning and peanuts grow on a
bush and not a tree, like I imagined for a long time? We learn from
observation, discussion and through experience. When I was in school I
would of loved to have visited a farm or had a farmer come and talk to our
We all have a lot to learn. Like where does the spice Mace come from? It
grows on the outside of the nutmeg shell and is shaved off and ground into
powder - as far as I know.....but then there is always room for
Kim Leval Staritzky
Department of Education
Ithaca, NY 14853