Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Farmyard to Kitchen, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,387 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,656 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Garden Gate/Farmyard to Kitchen Beginner Level Merit Badge, I enlisted all of my eager beavers, the intrepid trio, the one-and-only (or is that three-and-only?) Andy, Nora, and Piper. Sometimes I split them up because it’s easier on my ears that way, but we decided to earn our Beginner Level badge all at once.

Like a pack of wolves family.

Knowledge was key in earning this first level: knowledge of dairy and eggs. I mean, doesn’t seem like rocket science, right? But you’d be surprised at how many city kids (especially) don’t really comprehend where food comes from.

So, we started with the basics.

“Eggs from chickens and milk from cows, Aunty,” they droned in unison, appearing bored with the topic already. “DUH. Everybody knows that.”

“Not so fast, my little Einsteins,” I replied, feeling that emotion you only feel when you know something someone else doesn’t and you’re getting ready to WHAM, drop the education hammer.

“Whatdya mean not so fast?” Nora asked. I could tell she was getting the feeling you only get when you’re about to clobbered with the education hammer. Or maybe she needed to go potty. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with these kids.

Anyway. Moo-ving right along. (Just a little bovine humor there. Eggscellent!)

“Well, not all eggs come from chickens. We can eat duck eggs, too. Or goose eggs. Or even ostrich eggs!” I only knew that last one from watching cooking shows on the telly, but I was secretly hoping they would insist on ostrich-egg shopping. I had a hankering for a custard pie the size of my dining room table.

“Ew!” was the unsurprising reply from the city kids.

“What’s so ‘ew’ about it? They’re not any different than the normal chicken eggs you eat every morning! I mean, think about it, whippersnappers, they all come from the south end of a north-bound fowl … okay, yeah, I get it. Ew. Okay, let’s talk about dairy then.”

“Milk comes from cows,” they said as one. I could tell from Piper’s face that she was getting that feeling that you only get when you are dodging the education hammer with all your might.

“But also from goats and sheep,” I reminded them. “And possibly yaks and yetis. I might have to look that last one up, though.” Yetis are a thing, right? No?

“And almonds, and walnuts, and hemp, and soy, and rice, and flax, and coconut!” Piped up Piper proudly.

“Er, no. Those aren’t milk. Not really.” I was beginning to see why just the conversation part was Step One in this particular badge.

“Oh, good,” said Andy in relief. I could tell he was getting that feeling that you only get when the proverbial knowledge hammer misses your noggin by an inch. “Cuz I REALLY didn’t want to milk an almond.” Or maybe by a foot and a half.

“Okaaaaaaay. Moooo-ve it to the kitchen, kids!”

I sent them home with a basket of organic eggs (chicken), and a gallon of fresh-from-the-cow cream-on-top milk.

Well, except for Andy. He stayed behind to milk some rice.

Leave a comment 2 Comments

  1. Karlyne says:

    Still chuckling! Let us know how Andy’s rice milking goes!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Fresh eggs and milk open up endless possibilities of delicious and nutritious kitchen creations. This photo is beautiful in it’s simplicity and representation of what real food looks like.

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