You can grow your own food. We can help.

School Gardens

Dec 17, 2011

As a resident of Florida, a place where I can grow things all year long...I was reflecting on what can be done to make children, from a very young age, aware of GOOD FOOD. We all know what a serious problem we face as a nation of obese people....many of us with small budgets. That and a lack of time tend to make us just grab whatever is "cheap and available" and worse, since our children and grandchildren learn by example far more than our words, they learn that that's the way to eat. People like Roger Doiron, Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver and many others are bringing awareness to everyone in the Macro or big picture way....but what of the micro? What can we do in our own neighborhoods to encourage healthy eating???...TEACH IT FROM THE GET GO! Any school has a small patch of ground at the very least, to grow even just herbs....which would then bring an awareness of different herbs to kids that normally don't really eat them. It would be able to grow from there....(pun fully intended) to more expanded growth in food, gardens, prep etc as our kids go through school. Every day, we are realizing more and more what a truly GLOBAL WORLD we are becoming. With that, comes the knowledge, that if properly taught, we can all sustain each other for generations to come. If any of you have done this or have ideas for how to make it happen....PLEASE, let me know. For starters, perhaps we should all just try growing something like a carrot top with our tiniest of tots....and let them watch it grow. It's a start....right? Have a beautiful day! Gale

Comments

... I enjoyed seeing your blog photos today of the gardening & good life in Spain! You convey the attention of your own appreciation - thank you! There are some places where children grow, create, cook & learn, all together. Now what we need is for these pioneers to have the means to photograph, video & curate their experience to show many people how easily it is done - in the moment, anyway. And all the background installation & preparation work is the stuff of life!
I work for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, an Australian program now in 259 schools where children aged 8-12 learn to grow, harvest, prepare and share food. There's lots of information at www.Kitchengardenfoundation.org.au
Wouldn't it be great if we reached a point where the children grew something and made a meal from it whilst at school. The range of topics and educational opportunities along the way are stupendous.
Learn how to eat, how to cook how to shop how to grow. Connect with the real ingredients. Forget about boxed groceries. These are simple things that everyone including young kids should know. You (teacher, parent, older sibling, upper class persons) be the sou chef (helper) and let them create. How to make a sandwich. Prepare eggs. How to shop for veggies in the market. How to make whole oats in the microwave. How to add nuts, raisins, bananas, peaches, fried onions, cinnamon, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, dash of salt (magic for oats) , turmeric, cheese whatever to oats. No sugar honey, its not needed. Like it sweeter let your fruit ripen more. Much much better and cheaper than boxed cereal. Same for brown rice made in rice cooker and same for baked potato. Very very healthy, cost conscious and delicious breakfasts Grow radishes in the classroom in a plastic shoebox or two. Same for lettuce. Lettuce will even grow in water (hydro). Everybody bring in a veggie and share for a farm day. Talk about the tastes, colors, etc. Vote for best, prettiest, weirdest, best buy, etc. Be sure to include onions and garlic and odd spices. Spice of the week! Kids have pallets too. And they love this stuff once introduced. Grow Lima beans in a cup or other container. You can easily see the parts of the plant up close as they sprout. And watch them respond to the sunlight. Very cool for little kids. Explain that plants grow at different speeds and some live very long and grow slowly. My sisters and I had great fun racing onions when I was about 3. Each kid had an onion bulb held in a cup of water with toothpicks. The single shoot sprouts up 2-3 feet in a few weeks. It was cool then. There are also probably some volunteer baby trees in your area (free) that can be rescued and transplanted to small containers for planting out on arbor or earth day. Also learn to match seeds with the fruit or veggie. Have the class try to sprout 100 different kind of seeds. Just to prove they are alive and learn. Draw, catalog, touch. It's life. You could even do this with the entire elementary school and not run out of varieties of seeds to spout. Try for a national school record! Keep pictures, notes drawings, etc. Some won't sprout. Do you know why? Strawberries have their seed on the outside!! Whats up with that? Everyone should to know this stuff. I hope everyone is already doing all this. If not you and your kids (2-90) are surely missing out. The point. Experience the easy stuff early. Farming to harvest takes long attention span and i think is best left till after the above experiences. OF COURSE WATCH OUT FOR ALLERGIES WHEN TOTS ARE TOUCHING OR TASTING. enjoy play with your food, eat well

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