It takes a village to feed a family

Mar 16, 2018
8-Minute Read

If you’re tuned in to the Canadian food blogging scene, chances are you’ve heard of Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Her 28K Instagram following and devoted blog readers turn to her when they need a dose of real-life, delicious, kid-friendly nourishment they can make themselves.
The blog began out of a lonely time in Aimée’s life, and became a community that she treasures: “I had left the restaurant industry and was home with my first kid. I was still cooking like crazy, because food has always been my love language,” she tells me. Someone suggested she start a blog, and as she began putting recipes online, people responded to them.
“Some of those people that started reading 12 years ago are still engaging and following,” she says. “It’s a community that I put a lot of time into, and it gives back.”

A family in a yardshaded by trees with a garden and chickens.
The Bourque family in their garden. Please note the chickens on the right! Photo (and above): Tim Chin 

Speaking to Aimée, I was immediately reminded of another powerhouse food warrior I met in Bolivia this past December. Delia is a community leader and gardener who has joined with other moms to ensure her community’s diet is varied and packed with nutrients. She even has a recipe for “green rice” that she’s passed to everyone who’s been lucky enough to purchase her beautiful home-grown spinach.

A mother and her two sons hold hands in a garden in Bolivia
Delia and her two sons in their garden in Bolivia. Photo: Megan Radford
When I mention this to Aimee, she excitedly tells me about a recipe for spinach crepes that she included in her second cookbook. “My kids nicknamed them ‘Hulk Crepes’. It’s their number one requested breakfast. It was just something I invented. I find that in pancake form, kids will eat almost anything.”

A table set with green pancakes, blueberries and orange juice.
A deliciously green breakfast. Photo: Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
In pancake form...or tortilla form! Just like our story about the nutrient-packed Super Tortilla, Aimée has found many ways to get her kids eating vegetables. It doesn’t surprise her that Delia is on the same mission.
“Mothers from around the world are asking this question: ‘How can I get my kids to eat spinach, or just eat healthier?’ It’s the number one question I get asked,” she tells me.
But cooking with kids doesn’t just stop at nutrition for her. It’s also about getting them involved in the process.
“Make them feel welcome in the kitchen, in the garden. They’ll surprise you. They’ll rise to the occasion. They’re incredibly proud of it,” she urges her readers.
I tell her about how Delia has gotten her two boys involved in the garden as well, as a way to keep them away from the gang life that permeates their neighbourhood. They were so proud when they showed me the plants they take care of in their mother’s garden.

A mother and son in their garden.
Delia and her son Eliasar show me a tree he cares for. Photo: Megan Radford 

Aimée in turn shares a story of how one of her sons learned tenacity when a groundhog mowed down his freshly grown peas.
“He was fairly young, probably four or five, and he just had these tears rolling down his cheeks. He didn’t say a word, he just walked back to our garden shed, got the seeds, and replanted. I didn’t have to tell him not to worry, he just started over because he wasn’t giving up.”
Though they may be on a different continent, I’m sure that Delia’s boys are learning similar lessons, and experiencing the same daily victories in their garden under Delia’s watchful eye. In the end, what it boils down to for Aimée is that, “We’re all seeking the best for our children.”

A little girl and her mother pick raspberries in a garden.
Aimée and her daughter Clara pick raspberries. Photo: Tim Chin 
And food and nutrition are the bridge: “We’re all drawn to connection, and food is that landscape to everyday life that fosters that intimacy. It doesn’t depend on the culture that you’re in. Not the city that you’re in. There’s definitely something about sitting around a table that invites connection.”
With the right tools, and a lot of love, victory over malnutrition and poverty are possible for communities like Delia’s. Will you partner with us? Join the Village2Village movement.
 Watch Aimée as she tells us more about her village, and what community means in her life: