In a recent blog post, I discussed the benefits of gardening with kids. Gardens are such a great hands-on experience for kids, where they can witness the miracle of growing food. First Lady Michelle Obama has reinforced this message by planting a working vegetable for the past four years (since 2009) on the South Grounds at the White House. According to a recent Let’s Move blog post, these gardens are the first working vegetable gardens since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden in the 1940’s. How exciting!
On March 26, 2012, Mrs. Obama along with the assistance of students from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Iowa along with a Girl Scouts Troop from Fairport, NY broke ground for the Fourth Annual White House Kitchen Garden. This year’s crop will consist of a variety of veggies, including potatoes, spinach, lettuce, radishes, chard, rapini, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, onions and mustard greens.
Gardens are a great way to start the conversation not only about where food comes from, but also can serve as an advocacy project. The bounty from this garden does not go to waste. In fact, since 2009, about 500 pounds of vegetables have been donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local organization that helps the homeless. What a great message to send out to the kids and the community.
Interested in starting a garden in your community? Check out these resources.
Edible Schoolyard –Lessons and tools for teachers will empower students to invest in edible education. Parents can find school lunch ideas and ideas to start a garden in their child’s school. Advocates can discover where the edible education movement is going and read stories for educators.
What’s Right for Young Children II: Childcare Gardens – Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction developed this booklet as part of a USDA Team Nutrition Grant. It provides childcare sites with ideas and resources to encourage healthy choices through a garden project.
May you be inspired by the First Lady’s garden and the works of Alice Waters with the Edible Schoolyard to move and get gardening.