Jack sometimes teases me about how naive I am–I’m not exactly a shut-in but some things that he’s exposed to on a daily basis are shocking to me. However, one thing I’m determined not to be naive about is just where our food comes from. The kids have helped plant the garden, tap the maple trees, pick and peel apples, forage for wild raspberries, pick cherries, pick grapes, pick strawberries…needless to say, they know how food is grown. But, plants are only part of our diet. A friend taught Jack a few summers ago how to butcher chickens and it’s a skill that’s been put to good use. Some of the chicks Licorice hatches have turned out to be roosters and though we’ve given a few away, there have been a few who’ve met their fate at Jack’s hand. He always does it quickly and as humanely as possible. We let the girls know it’s happening and though they’re a bit sad to see one of the chicks they’ve helped raised die, we talk about what they’ll be used for–either for roasting with the Boy Scouts, fed to the dog, or made into soup. It also inevitably turns into a biology lesson that the girls have been quite interested in.
Being so involved in the food chain has been a blessing and a powerful lesson on reverencing life. No naivety here.