From Seed to Table: Food Brings People Together

Posted on Jun 20 2011 - 2:50am by Mike Lieberman

I’ve said it before that we are humans, therefore we grow food. If you look back at societies, civilizations and communities, you will see that the common factor was growing food.

Over the past 100 or so years, that skill has been lost to chemical agriculture and the ability to transport food long distances. There is so much that goes into food that we don’t get to partake in anymore. We just see it as congregating around a table and eating it. Some of the time it’s not even that, it’s something that’s done en route from one task to another.

Everything about food can bring families, couples, partners, neighbors, whoever it may be together. There is camaraderie and a relationship that is built when going through the process.

Each of the steps in the process are chances to forge deeper relationships with each other and with the food. From the decision of what to grow to planting and tending to, then there is harvesting, preparing and sharing.

You know damned well that if you were to grow some parsley and put it in a dish, you are certainly going to stick your chest out and tell everyone you grew that parsley. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with growing your own food.

It’s not just about the eating part, which is mad fun, but it goes much deeper than that. You’ll start to get a better appreciation of food that you buy because you know what goes into it. You certainly are less likely to waste food when you grow your own.

This is why I think we should all start to grow some of our own food or source it locally. It helps to bring us together.

What stories do you have to share about growing food and bringing people together?


13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Cindy Rajhel June 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm -

    Our neighborhood in SoCal is a mix of folks, and our girls have some classmates that live around the corner who have a busy, complicated life. They asked nicely one day if they could play in our backyard. While jumping on the trampoline, they would spot different plants and ask what they were. Little by little these kids have turned into mini farmers and now the first comment I hear after I open the door is “Can we feed the worms?”, or “Do you have any borage flowers left we can eat?” They have their own potato sacks growing in our yard and have helped me discover what mystery plants were popping up in my compost. These are the students the teachers and other kids have problems with but over here, they are on their best behavior. At the end of the school year, a teacher thanked me because she saw an attitude adjustment in one of the boys. They told her how much they enjoy gardening. Wow, I almost feel guilty for how good I feel!

  2. CJ June 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm -

    I have a neighbor, about 4 doors down, who has a back yard full of raised garden beds. I am just starting to get the “back yard farm” addiction and thought it would be a good idea to knock on their door to ask if I could get a tour of their garden and maybe some tips. Well, turns out the woman living in the house is a widow and very lonely, her only companion is her garden. Now we have a friendship, she has someone to come visit her and I have a garden mentor.I’d say that food, dirt and flowers have changed both our lives for the better.

  3. Anonymous June 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm -

    I love this… you are so RIGHT ON!   I got tired of putting all the work into my garden growing food and preparing the recipe to have it ‘over with’ in the 10 minutes it took to eat it at the dinner table.  NOW I get the family involved with the growing process!    It is now the best ’10 minutes’ a family can share!

  4. Katherine Kelley June 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm -

    Awesome.  For both of you. 

  5. Mike Lieberman June 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm -

    Hahahah. That’s what’s up Bren!

  6. Mike Lieberman June 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm -

    I love this story. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Mike Lieberman June 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm -

    So when can I come over to play too?

  8. Thefrugalgrower June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm -

    I’m hoping that growing our own food together will encourage my son to have a better appreciation of the vegetables on his plate. He’s so picky. Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes in butter and brown sugar?

  9. Mike Lieberman June 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm -

    So true. Who doesn’t?

  10. Katie June 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm -

    I read a story in from the newspaper in my hometown (Peoria, IL) about a man who dedicates his entire summer every summer to growing vegetables, which he gives out to anyone who comes by his home. Both yards are full of plants, and he gives hundreds of bags of veggies to local families per year. No profit, no sponsor – just a man helping feed his community. That story sticks with me.

  11. Mike Lieberman June 27, 2011 at 6:08 am -

    And that story is awesome!

  12. G Maya November 7, 2012 at 10:05 am -

    ♥ story of Garden!

  13. G Maya November 7, 2012 at 10:22 am -

    That’s Kinda school We Need :-). Pass Bill.. put Obama To Work!
    Today’s Schools & Regulations Are Keen To Catch Kids At Their Worst, Showing Blind Eyes To The Teachings Done At School & Environment If Kids.
    There Should Be Schools For Kids Not Kids For School! A better Design Is Possible! Here Is LIVE Example.

    Bravo! To The Gardener & Urban Gardener Who Facilitate Express Such Stories!

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