In this series about Little Cooks I talk with kids and parents who have a love for cooking and family time in the kitchen. Today I’m talking with 5-year-old farmer’s daughter Harvest and her mom, Marissa, part of a farming family from the Halton region in Ontario, Canada. Harvest was gifted a copy of the Little Cookery Cookbook for Christmas by a mutual friend, and after this interview I can see why!
I can’t help but smile all throughout the interview with Harvest, she is animated and has so much to say.
Harvest is the middle child of farmers Marissa and Ryan. Together, the family tends to the produce on Marshall’s farm’s, just like the 6 generations before them. Harvest and her sisters Dixie and Bella all love being in the kitchen with mom or dad.
Family life in the kitchen
When asked about her family, Harvest is especially descriptive when she talks about her dad, Ryan. “My daddy is a very hungry man. He eats lots of food.”
Marissa shares that she and her husband have very different styles of cooking with kids. “The girls have fun cooking with dad, he is fun and wild in the kitchen with them.” she observes.
“My husband gives the girls lots of freedom in the kitchen. He hands them the eggs, tells them to crack them while he gets on with the recipe” explains Marissa.
She goes on to say “Starting out cooking with my first child, I did most of the cooking myself so I could keep the kitchen clean. With our second daughter, Harvest, I just let her take the lead. I’m sure that once our youngest starts cooking, she will be even more free”
When asked about Harvest’s kitchen expertise, she has some great tips for other bakers..
- “Make sure you kneed bread properly or it will stick like crazy and you don’t want that”
- “Use the oven because it works really fast and you don’t have to wait long. I ate my pie really fast.”
When asked if she ever makes food for others, I can’t help but smile when Harvest tells me about the cookies she made for her teacher. I gather that these baked goodies never made it to their destination because Harvest decided to hide them as part of a scavenger hunt. She now fears that they are either rotten or that dad ate them. Either way, teach’ never got ‘em.
The farmer’s perspective on cooking and food
The farm gives the girls a unique perspective on food and cooking. “Living on our working farm gives the kids a sense of where the produce comes from. We notice a lot of people are far removed from produce, but knowing where food originates and when it’s harvested gives the kids a lot of confidence around foods.”
The kids are very involved in growing food. At times they cook with the food from their land and to Marissa it makes it more special knowing they’ve grown it themselves.
Watching kids learn
Cooking with kids isn’t just a learning experience for the little ones. Marissa adds “as I’m letting go more I have more of a chance to enjoy cooking with them. I get to watch them learn.”
The best part of it all for this family? Seeing their daughter’s little faces light up as their food comes out of the oven and is shared around.
For more of Marissa & Harvest’s farm adventures, be sure to check out Two Farm Wives.
Photos courtesy of Marissa Marshall.