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Waiting for Food to Grow

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Manager

We’re prepping for Theatre Action Project’s Summer Pageant in the Park celebration on June 18. This year’s pageant theme is How Our Food Grows. I’m a vegetable gardener now, but as a kid growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, I never gave a single thought to how food grew. My Dad tried to teach lessons about the soil and enriching it, but to me it just plain weird to see him take eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, shrimp shells, fish bones and more and grind them up in a pile he would turn over and over and over before finally sharing some of his “tea” with the plants in the yard.


Objects may be larger than they appear.
Okay, so I love peaches.
Who knew he was recycling and composting?

All I knew, was we had peach trees that magically turned into fruit and I got to eat them. Obviously I didn’t understand the full cycle of growing that takes place. From my kid perspective, it was a long time to wait for a peach blossom to come out, bloom, drop off and change into a little bud of fruit. Then it was another long time to see green peaches grow (they look more like olives when they’re small) and turn different pinks and reds before my parents said they were good to pick.

Chili pequins.
These things grow like crazy. Yum!

Did everyone in Corpus Christi have peaches, pomegranates, chili pequins, oranges, and grapefruits growing in their yards? Even once we ate something the outdoor produce store, we had to save the pit or seeds for my Dad who dried them and replanted them. The only unsuccessful plant he tried growing was avocados. I think we had an avocado pit on the edge of our sink suspended by tooth picks, the whole 17 years I lived at home. It didn’t stop my Dad from experimenting though. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to put together all the cycles of growing my Dad was doing home.

Come join the parade!
Summer Pageant in the Park is June 18.

The Sustainable Food Center Farmer’s Market here in Austin is the location for TAP’s Summer Pageant. Check out their their site for educational programs and my favorite, a list of what foods that are in season. For some additional fun, take a look at Nation Public Radio’s current series on all things food. Click here when you’re ready.

If you’re ready to celebrate how food grows, we’re inviting the public to join us in the Summer Pageant parade on June 18 at 11 a.m. at the SFC Farmer’s Market Downtown Austin. Look for the huge over-sized puppets, banners, and all the colorful fun of a parade.

In the meantime, what do you have growing in your garden right now? I’d like to hear from you. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and jalapeños. Except for the green beans and jalapeños, I’m waiting for the blossoms to turn into fruit.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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