Would you like strawberries with that

Would you like strawberries with that?

Tomorrow, 5 June is World Environment Day. The theme for this year is Air Pollution. According to the World Environment Day website, nine out of ten people breathe polluted air — a frightening statistic. While the most polluted cities may be far from where we live and the effect of our individual actions may seem negligible, the site recommends ways in which we can help reduce air pollution. I’m sure you already do many of these:

  • Use public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk
  • Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis
  • Turn off the car engine when stationary
  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
  • Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
  • Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment
  • Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
  • Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge strawberries and mint

While not specific to this year’s theme, I thought the flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch this week was a perfect match for World Environment Day. Charli challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!

Growing plants, particularly those that produce edible delicacies, including strawberries and mint, is a great way of introducing children to the importance of caring for the environment. Both strawberries and mint are easy to grow and require little space.

The rewards are not only in the eating. Children can learn where their food comes from and understand that it doesn’t just appear in plastic packaging on supermarket shelves or in the fridge at home. In caring for a garden, they learn about what plants need and the importance of caring for the soil. They learn to be patient, waiting for the plants to grow and to be ready to harvest. Understandings learned from small-scale gardening, even in a pot, can be applied to caring for the environment on a larger scale. It is never too soon, or too late, to learn.

In my response to Charli’s prompt, I have considered gardening as nourishment for the mind and spirit as well as the body. Because strawberries are a favourite with both my grandchildren who would probably eat strawberries anywhere and anytime, I settled on a story featuring a grandmother and grandchild. Any similarity to this grandmother is non-existent. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

(I included some favourite family strawberry desserts in this post.)

Grandma’s Garden

Jess blew kisses to Mum, then raced Grandma into the garden. She pulled on her boots and gloves and readied her digging fork. Emulating Grandma, she soaked up explanations of magic combinations that helped plants grow. At the strawberry patch, they filled baskets with ripe red berries. On the way inside, Grandma clipped sprigs of mint.

They dipped strawberries in chocolate and garnished them with mint.

“For Jess?”

“For Mum.

“Birfday?”

“Just —”

Jess inspected the chocolate bowl. “All gone.”

“Stawbwee?” said Jess, pointing to the remaining few.

“For Jess,” smiled Grandma.

Jess munched strawberries and Grandma chewed mint.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

42 thoughts on “Would you like strawberries with that?

  1. Charli Mills

    Making the connection between taking care of a garden plot and the environment is vital for all of us to learn. When I was at Valley Natural Foods, I included a teaching garden in my marketing budget. If we were to be known for fresh food and sustainability, then why not show it and teach it? By the time I left we had school field trips to our garden every year so children could plant and learn where food came from — a seed! I love your Grandma character’s patience to lead the way and teach her next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Your teaching garden is a wonderful project, Charli. There should be more of them. It is great that school groups were able to visit and learn. I think patience is a must for successful gardening.

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      1. Jules

        Kind of like colored string beans… I bought some at a farm market. I think they were more blue than green, but when you cooked them the color turned back to green. Nature has many oddities.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  2. CarolCooks2

    A lovely reminder, Norah about World Environment Day it does sadden me that it is now recognised as a day rather than a daily habit I just hope for many it will become that.
    I also have a little granddaughter who would eat strawberries any time a lovely poem 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Carol. I think many of us are making changes to our daily routines. I’m not sure if it’s enough, but I hope it is. 🙂
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the story. I don’t think my granddaughter would have waited patiently for permission to eat!

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      Reply
  3. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Air pollution is such a problem worldwide. There’s a case going to be heard in London regarding whether pollution can be cited as a cause for a child’s death from an asthma attack.
    Enjoyed your fun flash. I like both strawberries and mint but not together!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      It will be interesting to hear what happens in the asthma case, and who is to take responsibility.
      I think strawberries and mint go together well in a punch. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Susan Scott

    I’m not I knew it’s World Environment Day tomorrow 5th June. It’s very worrying that the air in so many places are polluted. I like your brief plan Norah to reduce emissions – all so simple and easily implemented. But most of all I like imagining those strawberries mint and chocolate. Am salivating –

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  5. petespringerauthor

    Thank you, Norah, for recognizing World Environment Day. Don’t you think it’s sad that we need to remind people to care for our environment? I’m thankful to live in a relatively clean area since there are cities where one shouldn’t go outside on certain days.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for being so quick to respond with your lovely comment, Pete. I do think it’s sad that we need reminders. I love our beautiful clean air here in sunny Queensland. 🙂

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