This was my favorite moment of my foraging trip in South Florida.
We spotted a house with two coconut trees absolutely loaded with coconuts. I took an educated guess that they were not harvesting the trees, as a vast majority of trees are never harvested.
So we stopped the car and knocked on the front door. Sure enough I was right.
The trees had hundreds of fallen coconuts around them, likely a few year’s worth. They were very happy for us to harvest the trees, so we got right to it.
The house was full of kids and they were extremely interested in what we were doing, and we spent a lot of time talking with them. Ayden, the boy in the back, wanted to start his own YouTube channel so I advised him on how he could do that with minimal money and resources needed. I also gave him ideas on how he could sell the coconuts on the beach to make enough money to achieve his goals. The youngest boy wanted to pick up every coconut and help us move them. The young girl was so excited to talk to us. She quickly noticed that I wasn’t wearing shoes and told me that she loves to be barefoot. I encouraged her to be barefoot if it feels right and stay connected with nature.
We also talked about eating healthy and taught them how to use the coconuts. They have an amazing source of nutrients and sustenance right in their own backyard and now they know much better how to utilize it. Hopefully seeing us older, in their eyes “cool” people, eating healthy and caring about food will encourage and excite them about how to do so as well.
We had fruit from different trees we harvested in the nearby neighborhoods and we shared a whole bunch with them. They all tried a Malay Apple or Wax Jambu for the first time, and they loved it! They loved the mangos too. So great to see kids eating fresh fruit from the trees in their neighborhood. Now they know how to go to other houses and ask if they can harvest fruit going to waste.
I look back at my childhood, and I’m confident that if this happened to me, it would be a day I would remember today, decades later. I hope that is the case with these children as well.
After a while the mom asked if I had a YouTube channel because she was pretty sure she knew who I was and watched some of my videos. That made it fun as well because now they even had somewhat of a “celebrity” in their yard!
It was a lovely day, and looking back at it now, fills my heart with joy. I’m wishing them all a very bright future and I truly hope that our bit of time together contributes even the slightest bit to that bright future!