Life Lessons From A Vegetable Stand

Cat McAfee and her family are up to something interesting at their home near Nashville, TN. They grow fruits and veggies in their backyard and give them away to friends and neighbors at a vegetable stand in their front yard. Cat told me they do this to show their kids what it takes to put food on the table, and I think it’s a truly inspired idea.

Cole, Cooper and Ivy McAfee. Photo Credit: Cat McAfee

Photo Credit: Cat McAfee

Cat and her husband Jason made a really good a point – most kids have NO idea where food comes from. In fact, the more they talked, the more I appreciated what they are doing.

Because of the vegetable stand, the kids:

  • have a fun activity in which to participate – planting and tending to the garden;
  • get to see the fruits (and veggies) of their efforts when it is time to harvest;
  • learn patience because it takes time for the garden to grow;
  • are sharing the food they grow with others in the community;
  • garner a true appreciation for farmers, the job that they do and the challenges they face; and,
  • have healthy organic fruits and vegetables that they made in their diet.

They are also learning ethics. The vegetables are free, but there is a donation box that is run on an honor system. So, the kids are learning what that means, and that it is okay to leave their stand unattended at times. The family uses funds from the donation box to reinvest in the garden.

These kids are getting a first-hand look at what it takes to create healthy food. And I bet those kids think twice before wasting a vegetable they have grown themselves.

Okay, so this is fun.

I actually met Cat and her sweet family in person last weekend. And we originally connected through, which I think is kinda cool. I knew they were doing this stand and that they lived near Nashville. My family was going to be in Nashville for a graduation so I told her I would be in town and she invited us over. We loved meeting them and we learned so much. My kids benefited from seeing what they are doing and hearing all about it. And it was really cool to go home and cook and eat veggies that our new friends had grown.

Here are some pictures from my visit.

What? You don’t have a huge garden?

Me either, my gardening skills begin and end in a clay pot. But I appreciate what the McAfee family is doing, and I love the lessons. So I will look for other ways to show my kids what it takes to put food on the table. It might be nice one weekend to go tour a farm and let the kids talk with the farmers and pick their own fruits and veggies. I know a lot of people enjoy berry picking, but we’ve never done it. And the next time I see a roadside vegetable stand, I will certainly think of our new friends and how much we learned from them.

Big thanks to the McAfee Family for inviting us over, it was so nice to meet you guys!

Cat McAfee is really fun and the mother of three gorgeous kids Cole (10), Cooper (5) and Ivy (2). She blogs about her family at Queen Bee McAfee, so be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!


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3 Responses to Life Lessons From A Vegetable Stand

  1. Cat McAfee July 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    What a super special story you have told about us! I have to be honest that, being a city girl, the entire idea was my husband’s! He has introduced me (and the kids) to such a special gift and we have all learned so much from participating.

    It was wonderful to meet you and your beautiful family! Thanks for honoring us in this special way!


  2. brenda shaneyfelt July 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    WOW, MCAFEES!!!!! What a special blog post!!! and JUST THINK, I have been a “recipient” of this precious “veggie stand”…..AWESOME, COLE, COOPER AND IVY!!! Thanks to this nice new friend of yours who shared this with all of us!!

    • Heather July 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

      They are great, aren’t they? I’m glad I met them. Have a good one, Brenda!

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