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Kitchen Gardeners United for Climate Action!

Nov 07, 2010

About a month ago, on 10/10/10, parents and children at my boys’ Waldorf school in Keene, NH (USA) answered the call by 350.org and organized a party to work on the climate crisis.  We were not alone that day! Together with 7,346 other parties in 188 countries, people across the planet sent a message to our political leaders that “if we can get to work, so can you”.   And thanks to a fast growing Transition Keene movement (Keene became the first town in New Hampshire to join the Transition Movement) this message was heard everywhere in our seemingly sleepy town in rural New Hampshire: no less than fourteen groups across town organized work parties that day, ranging from clothes swap and composting initiative, to an early morning bicycle ride, a canning workshop, and biochar demonstration.

So what did we do in our school? Most of us have our own home gardens and grow some of our own fruit and vegetables, and we wanted to encourage our school community to grow more vegetables as well. We spent that sunny Saturday at the end of our New Hampshire growing season making our beds (vegetable beds of course) for a long winter sleep: we weeded, added compost (donated by a local organic farm), turned over the soil and tucked it in with a warm, thick layer of straw. It was amazing how much we accomplished in half a day! Some of us joined other work parties that evening for a potluck dinner celebration and viewing of a documentary about the various 10/10/10 work parties across town.

At the end of the winter, the children will be starting seedlings and, starting in May, will be planting and sowing: kale, peas, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, leeks and probably a whole lot of other yummy, healthy vegetables. And that is just the beginning. We’re already planning to start a second school garden and engaging more teachers to incorporate in their lessons not only growing vegetables but also using them in school cooked meals. We might not have solved the climate crisis that day, but by joining a growing worldwide movement we felt more hopeful that some day we will.

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