Director of Education
The other day I was walking down a street in Washington D.C. and I saw a little display in a window. Tiny figurines and gardening implements showed a community working to create a garden. I thought back to all the encounters with these small plots of produce I have seen over the years, beginning with a trip to Borok, Russia where kitchen gardens provide residents in this village with needed fresh food. This past summer when I accompanied my niece to her new home, I delighted in spotting pieces of land set aside for town residents near the dog park. Look around you to see if any such projects are in progress near you.
As I think back to that D.C. window, I imagine a display in your classrooms showing a garden and the many people who work together to care for the plants. Have groups of children work together to create sequential scenes showing planting, tending, harvesting, and the many benefits of food from these shared workplaces. And to find out more about the specific project, The Yellow Tractor Program http://www.yellowtractorprogram.org/index.html , discover more about this organization. Below is an excerpt from a written interview the kind folks from the project gave to Maggie’s Earth Adventures. We hope it will give you your own ideas about answers to activity questions and provide ideas for the sequence story displays.
We started Yellow Tractor in 2010 after publishing a book called, Our Generous Garden, by Anne Nagro. It is the story of a class of 3rd graders who build a vegetable garden and feed their community with what they grow. In one summer they grew 900 pounds of food to give to the local senior center. So many people loved the book and wanted to know how they could build a vegetable garden. We started with a neat program with the Florida Department of Education where they read the book and then went out and built their own gardens in 13 counties. We want to empower as many people as possible with growing their own food. Many areas in our country have “food deserts” where there is not a local grocery store selling healthy food. Many people (about 20 million people everyday) do not know where there next meal will come from. Many people (one in four) struggle with nutrition issues related to their health like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. We want vegetable gardens to provide a solution for many of these issues facing our country today.
Keep a look out here as we’ll be sharing photos the next few weeks from our trip to EARTH University. They have a world class organic gardening program!