A bit of a Rant

I belong to a Facebook group that shows activities for kids.  Occasionally I use one of the ideas with the childcare kiddos.

Not to long ago this came up.

The premise is to “plant” a peppermint and it grows a candy cane.

I know lots of you are thinking “oh cute and how fun”.  You are completely and totally entitled to your opinion….I didn’t feel that way.  I didn’t feel that way at all.

My husband is a farmer.  My dad was a farmer.  My grandpa was a farmer.  Kelli’s husband is a farmer.  Kalissa’s husband is a farm machinery mechanic.  Many of my childcare kiddos and grandpa’s have agricultural related jobs.  Most everyone in my life is somehow directly farm related.  For me, I thought teaching this was kind of sad.

Now days, so many people have no idea where their food comes from.  I work hard to have a gal come into my childcare and work with my kiddos so they get more exposure to the hows of food that gets to our table.  I work hard to provide activities on my own.  It’s so important for kids to know the importance of agriculture.

The whole candy cane thing hit me the wrong way.  Isn’t there already enough “fantasy” with Christmas…Santa and Elf on the Shelf are already there.

So in moment of weakness (actually stupidity) I wrote a comment on the Facebook post saying, “How sad. With the opportunity to teach real life, why would someone want to do this?”

Well that was the WRONG thing to say.  Most everyone else way saying “how cute”, “love it” and similar phrases.

People completely jumped all over me…ALL OVER ME.  Here are some of the messages posted towards me….

Mind your business,It’s Christmas.you scrooge

To have a little fantasy fun! Put on your little girl pants and try it😃🎈🎈”

What a sad little childhood you must have had. “Make believe” was a wonderful part of my childhood.”

Oh my word!!  I can’t believe what people do and say…I can’t. I’m guessing these same people wouldn’t be bothered to show a kid how a plant actually grows or the food that comes from it!!

And I’m leaving this all right here because if I say anything else I’m likely going to offend a whole bunch more people.

I’m going back to my hole.  I’m putting myself in Facebook time out…


42 thoughts on “A bit of a Rant”

  1. I’m with you, Jo. When my nephews were young we took a field trip to an actual corn field since the grocery store isn’t the “right” answer to where corn comes from. We’ve also picked strawberries etc. Some of my favorite memories involve gardening with my grandparents. I’m having trouble getting anything to stay alive now that I’ve moved to Houston.

  2. Arrrgghhh! What is wrong with people? Never mind…I can supply more answers than anyone has time to read. Go back (if you want to) and post either of these links
    Unless these idiots plan on living on Mars, knowing about your food is IMPORTANT!!! Crap…it’s more important if you live on Mars! Remember the movie? Happy Holidays.

  3. I thought the very same thing you did, Jo! I can see how it would be fun for some people – the same ones who turn milk green on St. Patrick’s Day, and do Elf on the Shelf. But everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. And it doesn’t have to be the same opinion as every one else’s. Growing a candy cane fits right in with the other fantasy activities.
    You and your family, on the other hand, have a different perspective and experience on growing things. So it does seem silly to me to spend time on something so improbable.

  4. I agree with you! As a city girl all my life my first thought was “How cute!” But then I read your viewpoint and realized you’re right. Children need to be taught where food comes from and how we get it. While this maybe a harmless fantasy I think watching real beans and peas sprout is more exciting. If you plant lettuce then they can eat it! What magic that is

  5. I absolutely agree with you!!! I’m a retired teacher, parent, grandparent and great grandparent. It’s like telling children candy grows on trees and so does money. What has happened to honesty? Plant beans and peas with those little ones and let them watch those plants grow. Plant a peppermint and show them nothing happens. A good life lesson on farming and honesty.

  6. Just wanted to agree with you. I get the same types of responses when I point out that the stories some are forwarding all over are totally false. Reality is not a part of some people’s vocabulary.

  7. I agree with you too! I bet others did too but didn’t were also afraid to say. Why not teach kids how to make candy canes for real?? I really like having Facebook, but it does expose a side of people I wish I didn’t know about. And, I’m afraid it could be teaching kids to ‘go along with what everyone else thinks’ and not stand up for what they feel is right! I’m sure it was painful for you, but I’m glad you said it! Another thing I find horrible is that the people who wrote those mean things to you are shaping the minds of kids! Is that the behavior that we teach children? We can say horrible things if we don’t agree with someone’s opinion?!?!

  8. I can totally believe that you got flamed for stating your feelings. I once had the same thing happen on a Canadian woman’s blog when she expressed disappointment that people didn’t jump to donate to a Go Fund Me she set up for a friend (an American) to give the woman a better monthly income. She admitted that it was a “social experiment” and it showed how selfish Americans were. I commented something to the effect people can be reluctant to donate to total strangers that didn’t seem to be all that bad off (living in a paid for house with a $1300 a month income). Wowser, I got flamed by another commenter (another Canadian) about how selfish Americans were and a whole statistical report on how the American government had failed to throw enough money at just about every country in the world. I simply replied back that she didn’t know what she was talking about, I didn’t need to put up with crap like that and the blog I had been following would be removed from my list. Can’t say I’ve missed it at all. Some people are just rude! Anyway why would you teach a child that you can plant a mint & grow a candy cane? To confuse them? Why not do something real and plant a bean seed that the kids can watch grow….or would that be too practical?

  9. I’am a born and raised Vermonter. I didn’t grow up on a farm but i had friends and classmates who did. I know it’s hard, hard work! Not everone is meant for the job. My granddaughter goes to the Waldorf School in Shelburne, VT. I don’t know if anyone has heard of Shelburne Farms or Shelburne Museum but it was created by the prestigious Webb family decades ago. So the Waldorf is near the Farms and each Tuesday the whole class walks to the farm, regardless of the weather (my granddaughter can attest to this)! Each week a child has a chore. And those children take their job seriously and they are learning so much! Trust me, they know candy canes do not grow from a flower pot! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  10. I HATE facebook. It was invented for Mr. Z to rate girls who didn’t like him and somehow diminish them. The fact that millions of people find it useful is beyond me. According to accounts such as yours, there is a lot of hate on the site. I avoid it like the plague. I totally understand your point about the candy canes but polite discussions and common courtesy are often hard to find on the internet. I appreciate blogs like yours for the level of civility you and your readers maintain. If only the rest of the internet could follow your lead.

  11. So many reasons why I don’t have a Facebook account. I am too opinionated about this exact sort of thing. When I opened your email and saw those pics with the caption of “how to grow a candy cane”. I thought it was the stupidest thing before i read the rest of your email. And i don’t consider myself a Debbie Downer at all. And I don’t have a single farmer connected to me, but nothing ihas been more exciting to me and my children than watching something grow. Children get more than enough “fantasy” these days with the things you mentioned, Jo, and also with video games, movies and other make believe characters such as the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, etc. Some things are tradition that started long ago. But that fact doesn’t make it any easier to see a child’s sadness as they come to know that none of these “fantasies” were ever true. We, as parents, lie to our children starting at a very early age. And usually we continue with the “fantasies” until another child at school or an older sibling tell them the REAL TRUTH. So confusing!! We lie to our little children and at the same time teach them to be honest and truthful.

  12. I find the whole thing so disrespectful towards children. They are so smart and deserve to explore the wonder of planting a seed and watching a plant emerge. You MAKE candy…and that is fun too! But they aren’t stupid….I am right up there with you, Jo!!

  13. I think you put FB in a time-out, rather than yourself. FB can be a good way to keep track of scattered friends and relations, but it can also be a shield for bullies to hide behind. Your comment was more of a sigh than an attack, yet others attacked you. The growing the candy cane activity was cute, but you had a valid point too. Personally, I think there’s too much expected around the holidays already. Even if I had young kids, I wouldn’t bother with this activity.

  14. Oh, this made me so angry!!! So many things wrong with this whole incident. I think you were right on the money, Jo, but even if I did not, I would NEVER treat you that way or ever make those kind of disrespectful comments. What is wrong with people these days? What has happened to just plain ol’ good manners and courtesy?? I know that wasn’t the point of your rant, and it was more about the silly idea of growing a candy cane instead of teaching how things really grow, but I can’t help ranting when I see rudeness.

  15. My Dad was a farmer….Both Grandfathers were farmers…most of my Uncles were farmers….It bothers me too about the candy cane….you go Jo…..

  16. I read your blog but don’t normally comment, but WOW. How nasty can people get? And these people are caring for other people’s children? What happened to kindness and tolerance? I think the anonymity of FB brings out the worst in some people.
    I think planting a peppermint to get a candy cane is a pointless activity, and doesn’t teach children anything. It’s shallow. How about planting a bean seed, which can be done year round and is more of a miracle?
    Hang in there. You certainly ARE NOT a scrooge or a joyless person. The “mean girls” on the facebook page don’t know you.

  17. Well, as a farmer, I won’t type out what I thought when I saw the candy cane in the pot and besides, I was taught not to use language like that. Suffice it to say there is a lot of ignorance in the world about agriculture and ‘growing candy canes’ doesn’t help. That’s right up there with people who tell children that brown cows give chocolate milk.

  18. Please don’t let it upset you too much. There is a whole lot of stupidity going on out there these days.
    Its a shame people can’t see what some of this “fantasy ” is doing to the next generation. A little reality would be a great thing. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

  19. Before I ever got to your thoughts on the candy cane idea I was shaking my head. No! As Sally said, kids are not dumb. Why would I want to so mislead them.
    Yes, help them plant a seed, make candy, read a story.
    And I have all those farmers in my background too. They need be respected for their intelligence, hard work and integrity.
    I think your day care families have a gem! Merry Christmas, Jo.

  20. I grew up as a farmers daughter who had a cousin when visiting asked if potatoes grew on trees. My sisters and I got a good laugh out of that but at the same time was so surprised. Kids need to learn how things grow and how things are made the right way. The candy cane growing from a mint is really so misleading and a big misrepresentation of how things really grow. You were right to speak up about it. People saying rude things in return are not worth spending energy on. Sorry you experienced this. It makes me wonder where all their Christmas spirit is. May you & your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  21. Oh Boy Jo!
    This is as bad as the article in the newspaper from an animal activist who stated” Buy your meat in the grocery store, where no animals were harmed.” Really? You go girl! We farm also, and I happen to agree with you. Enough fantasy !

  22. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Quite reminds me of someone ranting about hunters hunting deer…said they should get their meat from the grocery store where no animals were killed to get the meat! For so many people, growing their own food or even seeing food grown, just isn’t happening…feel really sorry for those people. When I saw the pictures of planting a peppermint and growing a candy cane, I immediately thought, why not plant carrot seeds and grow a carrot they can eat!! Right there with you…stupid idea to “plant” a peppermint!!

  23. As I tell all my friends, just hide the post by clicking the dots in the upper right hand of the post. It disappears, you’ll never see it again and you can still,play nicely on FB. Pay no attention to the trolls!

  24. I agree with you! Kids need to learn about growing things – real, authentic things which grow, not candy canes. That is so deceptive. I do believe that we need to encourage imagination and dreaming but growing candy canes does not count.

  25. Ronel Oberholzer

    I’m so glad that we used to have a big garden with an orchard and vegetable patch when I grew up. My fondest memories of my father digging around happily. The smell of ripe cling peaches, apricots, grapes and kumquats in the hot sun will always stay with me. I live on another continent in a cold climate now, but I can assure you a candy stick in a pot is sad by comparison.

  26. I am sorry to hear that. It would be the same premise to plant a quarter and it grow into a dollar, the wrong message for any child. Those who commented are sheeple and afraid to be sheppards. You are clearly a leader/sheppard.
    This is a classic case of The dumming down of america…..*sigh*. Kudos to you for standing your ground! And for not passing this onto the children you care for!

  27. People seem to be extra easily offended this time of year. And it’s hard to keep thick skinned all the time, especially when it’s this time of year! It’s not easy to overcome something like this but just remember this too will pass and something else will come up to occupy their time. YOU concentrate on you and your family, and having the best Christmas ever. Thank you for all you do for us!

  28. What amazes me is that there are so many rude nasty people that feel entitled to bash someone in a public forum. I am totally in agreement with you. “growing” a candy cane in a pot of dirt has to take the cake as the most stupid ridiculous thing I ave ever heard of. Even my 4 year old granddaughter would have no time or patience for something like that.

  29. Carolyn Sullivan

    YES it’s cute, BUT I agree w you it would be far better to SHOW them how to MAKE a candy cane. I loved to garden,(no farmers here) and I have had the grands occ help me w the gardening. It’s not a lot of fun, it’s hard work. But I enjoy it. They enjoyed it.Picking your own veggie off a plant you grew is good experience.

  30. I also have been blasted on Facebook. I don’t know what is wrong with people! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if it doesn’t agree with yours, well….. Ignore those people Jo and have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

  31. I agree about the candy cane. Thought it was stupid! Parents have enough with the ELF. . What happened to Santa “watching” out and just having good behavior?

  32. Virginia Grenier

    I’m with you on this one. Doesn’t society lie to children enough already? I never went down the Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy route. Told the kids that most families like to play those games but our family would not but that didn’t mean that they should spoil the “fun” for other families.

    Clearbrook MN

  33. SusanfromKentucky

    How about planting a holly tree if they want something “Christmassy”? There are also Amaryllis bulbs and other things.
    I do like the Elf on the Shelf thing. I think that is cute. It’s just another Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny thing that the kids will outgrow. You have to have some fantasy, otherwise life can be pretty sad. The planting of peppermints to grow Candy Canes is just plain silly, though!

  34. The internet anymore has become a place where people bully others and get away with it because they are anonymous. You are entitled to your opinion and that should be the end of it with no nasty comments from others. There are way to many people in this country that think they are right and have to make sure they set everyone else straight. I am sorry that you were bombarded like that.

  35. Roberta Campbell

    This is exactly why I don’t “do” Facebook- I love to look at the pictures of my friends and family but I absolutely can’t tolerate the nastiness of most of the remarks people feel “entitled” to make. I like the idea of Facebook but somehow it never seems to not have the nastiness and plain rudeness.

  36. JO, I grew up on a farm and totally agree with you. Considering those “replies” those sounded pretty Scroogey to me. If I want to fantasize How about if I plant a $10 bill…

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