New Foods, New Words!
By Connie Goldin, LMFT
Summer is the perfect time to visit a Farmers Market, fruit stand, or organic market. Children can learn new words looking at the fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh flowers, and by hopefully sampling a few! Recently I visited a famous Farmers Market in San Diego County called Chino Family Farm in Rancho Santa Fe. Chino Family Farm has exceptionally beautiful and unique produce. They are suppliers to many chefs and elegant restaurants that serve Chino’s fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. When I was there, I bought tiny beets, yams, and “peach” tomatoes. It is a place to buy unique delicacies for a special event.
From Chino Family Farm, I headed home and before hitting the freeway, stopped at a pick-up truck with a couple of tables and an umbrella to buy a sack of Valencia oranges from a local grower. The Valencia oranges are perfect for juicing. They are sweet and full of juice. I also bought a sack of small avocados, which were delicious. Both are San Diego crops.
I realized I wanted to buy strawberries for my dinner, so I stopped at a store in my own beach-town neighborhood, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Market. “People’s” has been the go-to store in San Diego for organic and sustainable fruits and vegetable since 1971. They list the region or county the produce is from alongside the price, giving shoppers an opportunity to talk about geography with their kids! People’s supply chefs and restaurants, but the store is full of regular customers from all over. It’s “kid-friendly” and children can look at the produce and ask questions. “People’s” is a co-op and members receive a discount, but anyone can shop there.
Check out this list to find a Farmer Market in San Diego County that’s near your home. It’s an easy, free outing that involves healthy eating and learning about local produce and flowers. Talk about what you are seeing, ask questions if you don’t know the names for things, and increase your children’s vocabulary in the process. Pair the experience with a lovely book, and you have a winning literacy/language combination for your children!