Thursday, 9 August 2012

Green fingers and a race against hunger

One thing that I love about having children is seeing how they grow and develop their own personalities.  They have an uncanny ability to surprise you with new traits; passions; opinions.  This is true of my daughter at the moment.  She has surprised me with a real interest in gardening and is getting to be quite green fingered.

It's not something she's inherited from me or my husband.  However, both sets of grandparents grow their own vegetables and she regularly spends time with her more local Grandad helping to water his plants and watching Peter the Potato, Percy the Pea, Clive the Cucumber (and so on) grow big and strong.

It really is wonderful to see her so passionate about something.  My husband and I thought we should nurture this and so took 'borrowed' a fledgling cucumber and tomato plant from my father-in-law.  We planted them into separate plastic tubs for Sophia to water and look after.

Sophia's been as good as gold, remembering to give her plants a drink twice a day every day and then, a couple of weeks ago, we spotted these...

It feels like such a massive achievement to have grown those three small tomatoes but it has made me realised just how much hard work is involved with growing even the tiniest tomato.  And it brought it home to me how difficult it must be for people who rely on their own crops to eat.  It's alright for us here in the UK; if we're hungry we can raid our cupboards at home or pop out to the shops and pick up some food.  If you live in certain African countries for instance, you'd just go hungry.  This is why it's so important to support smart agriculture and nutrition plans in the world's poorest countries to help lift them out of extreme hunger and poverty. 

With this in mind, I was heartened to hear that our Prime Minister, David Cameron, is to hold a global nutrition event on Sunday, the last day of the London 2012 Olympics, when the eyes of the world will be upon us.  It's a great stage on which to make a change and support countries to ensure widespread famine becomes a thing of the past.

You can add your voice too...and in a rather fun way.  The organisation ONE has developed an Olympics themed 'Race Against Hunger' game; a light-hearted way to engage with people and get them playing something fun with a serious message at the end.  Please do go and give it a try (although you may find it rather addictive!) and also take the time to sign the e-petition at the end.  This e-petition will be taken to 10 Downing Street tomorrow (Friday) to show David Cameron and everyone else attending the nutrition event on Sunday just how important this issue is so please, please do take the time to sign.

If we all come together to talk in ONE voice, we can make a difference.


  1. Growing veg is such a lovely thing to do with childen. I love spending time with my son in the garden - it feels like such an all-round positive, healthy learning experience. And it's fun. And your point about food production is something that I feel really strongly  about too. There's nothing like battling against birds and pests and blights and mildews and droughts etc etc in an attempt to nurture some fruit and veg to maturity to make you realise just how tough it is to safeguard a food supply. It's a humbling and eye-opening experience.

  2. Ahh bless your little one, every time we eat our home grown veg I am super excited. If only every person in the world coudl feel that joy.  Mich x

  3. I think we might have a go at growing something next year but will have to keep it somewhere our rather large, very nosy rabbit won't find it :D  Definitely makes you think about how difficult it must be growing food to feed your whole family and keep the crops watered in the developing world.

  4. It really is amazing what joy making a dinner out of your own grown produce can bring!! 

  5. It really is amazing what joy making a dinner out of your own grown produce can bring!!  

  6. It's been a real eye-opener as to how hard it can be but lovely to find something that Sophia really likes and to be able to share it with her too

  7. I totally agree. I hate to think about how there are so many people in this world who rely on the crops they grow and if their crops fail, they have to go hungry. I was elated (and Sophia very excited) when we spotted those three small tomatoes on her plant but it took a while to even get to that point. 

  8. Oh yes, I wouldn't have thought vegetables and rabbits go together very well ;-)

  9. I'm with you on that one. I feel like it's been a real achievement, not just for me but for Sophia too. We've not got our own dedicated vegetable patch so I may have to go all 'Good Life' now!


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