Worm Rancher, Organic Gardener, Ecopreneur, Environmentalist, Educator, Wife, Mom…just a few of the roles I play. Educator is one of my favorite hats…every Wednesday, I teach a group of great middle school kids about organic gardening, food systems, and healthy eating. We’ve built and planted a garden, tended it, and watched as things suspiciously disappeared. Finally, we pulled our first harvest yesterday!
While the boys were proudly posing, the girls found a bigger radish in their plot!
We judged that they probably weighed about the same, so everybody was a winner.
These kids love making wholesome snacks–we’ve made everything from Whole Grain Elvis Sandwiches to Free-Range, Breakfast Egg Casserole. They’ve explored different dips: hummus, tzaziki and pumpkin. They got to play with pullets and learned the entire egg and poultry business food cycle from a local urban chicken keeper.
Yesterday, we started with harvesting our class worm bin, looked at the worm casting microbes under the microscope (identified nematodes!), ate a healthy, organic snack, discussed food labels a bit and harvested and sliced the radishes for everybody to have a bite. That’s a lot, but these kids are hungry for more…learning and good, healthy food.
Now, if I can just resist my urge to take a sledge hammer to the gross vending machine in the hallway! That’s the Mom in me, that can’t stand to see the preservative filled, HFCS, high trans fat, and processed Frankenfood that lures these kids every day.
I’ll keep on teaching and growing and hope some of this sinks in for these kids to make better choices. Our county (Dallas) has a crisis task force on childhood obesity. I humbly present a couple of starting points for reducing the problem–remove the vending machine, add more after school nutrition and garden education, give them seeds and watch them grow.