By Jessica Domel

As many of you know, last week was Texas Food Connection Week–a week in which we encourage farmers and ranchers to really connect with consumers to talk with them about where their food, fibers and fuel come from. As I traveled to one of the local Texas Food Connection Week events, I was thinking about my two nieces, who are five and three, and wondering whether or not they know where their food comes from.Our family owns a farm that my father runs, but I never really sat down with the girls and asked if they knew that all that corn in the fields was used to feed cattle and so on.

Then I remembered that my sister-in-law has planted a small, but very fruitful, garden on the side of their house for the girls.

Abby picks vegetables in her garden

Abby picks vegetables in her garden

They have everything from strawberries (yes, strawberries!) to little carrots and everything in between. My sister-in-law works with the girls to take care of the garden, and she told me this morning that they’re so excited about the new plantings that they want to check it twice a day to see how things are coming along.

My sister-in-law and brother also encourage their daughters to eat the healthy things that they grow in the garden so they can grow big and strong. The girls seem to love it!  I’m told the youngest, Emily, absolutely loves baby carrots!

Check out the fruits (vegetables) of their labor:

These were grown in my sister-in-law's garden!

These were grown in my sister-in-law’s garden!

As I was thinking about this, I couldn’t help but marvel how in the middle of a suburban area, my beautiful little nieces are learning how to grow their own food. They’re five and three and they’re already making the connection that if you put a seed in the soil and take care of it, it will be fruitful.

What a wonderful lesson for the youth of today! So even though Texas Food Connection Week has passed us by, I encourage you, whether you live in a subdivision or on the farm, to think of ways we can teach the youngest in our families to make the connection.