It’s official. As of right today, I am announcing my book project.
SuRu’s Garden Adventure
A comprehensive guide to
growing food with kids.
Parents are concerned about their kids health yet it can be an uphill fight trying entice them to eat healthy food. Sneaking greens and beans into treats is not the answer. How to encourage a love and appreciation for real food that will last a lifetime? Grow some, close to home! Kids who grow food, eat food. When they eat more veggies, they naturally eat less junk. I have been successfully growing food with toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school kids for years. I have witnessed the magic of kids growing, eating and loving real food. This book will show you how you can do it too, its easier than you think.
This book will be blogged. Right here on these pages in the months ahead. I am going to show up at this page at least 3 times a week and I will blog my book into existence. You, dear reader, will be my accountability partner who will keep me on my game! Feel free to post any food and garden questions that you’d like answers and support on.
In addition to encouraging and inspiring parents, teachers and foodies on how to grow veggies, also note that gardening is a form of radical rebellious resistance in these beautiful dangerous times. It will support your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing
My stealth goal in life is to get kids eating more veggies
As a school food activist, I learned that nutrition education was not an effective tactic for getting kids to eat better. Using the worth “healthy” was quite frankly, a turnoff! Why would a kid care all that much about “healthy” anyway? Kids are into fun and cool things. Healthy is neither of that. The billion dollar food industry warps their minds daily. Just across the street from the child care center where I work , there is a depot for Doritoes. On each truck it says “fun food”. How do you make fresh veggies fun? Grow some!
I was first inspired by Alice Waters many years ago when I stumbled upon an article about the garden she created in a vacant lot next to a middle school in Berkeley CA. I wrote her a fan letter telling her I wanted to be a soldier in her delicious revolution.
It is important that our children understand the importance of food in their lives. Food is our connection to the earth, to our health and to each other. Your edible schoolyard creates the opportunity for so many teachable moments in the field of science and health. As you said, “food is what we all have in common”.
I got my hands dirty and got started. I didn’t go and get any special degrees or training. I did a bit of research and made friends with some local farmers at our weekly market. They clued me in on which veggies were the easy ones to grow.
I started with basics like peas and lettuce and an occasional radish for K-12 school programs that end in June. Veggies that need warmer weather like green beans, cucumbers and zucchini were reserved for summer camp programs.
My sweet job at the Mount Kisco Child Care Center has kept me in this adventure for many years now. As one of the originators and current coordinator of their Feed Me Fresh seed to table curriculum, I work to inspire kids to grow, eat and love vegetables. We accomplish that by growing an assortment of veggies, fruits and herbs in more than 20 raised beds and containers on site on the MKCCC playgrounds.
It is time to share these secrets that I’ve learned with the world. This guide will be of use to any family with a yard or sunny deck, a preschool with a playground or even a school district. You don’t need a green thumb! The most hesitant gardener will find this inspiring and do-able.
An increased love, appreciation and participation in locally grown food is key for developing and maintaining a more healthful life. Kids who eat more veggies, eat less junk. By growing food, young tastebuds are encouraged at an early age to appreciate things like salad greens, cucumbers, peas, green beans and all sorts of herbs. I believe that this puts them ahead of their peers who subsist on a diet filled industrialized processed food that contain synthetic components to boost taste. These packaged edible food like substances that are not beneficial for personal or planetary health.
This can be done! We are doing it at MKCCC and have been for many years. We have a successful track record of growing, preparing and enjoying real food that tastes great. The Food IQ of the MKCCC population is higher than other communities. Look at what they had for lunch the other day. Root veggie stew and a kale salad with chickpeas. Amazing, right? Kids eat this because they cook once a week in their classrooms and they grow carrots, potatoes and kale outside on their playgrounds.
Join me in my Garden Book Adventure. Tell your friends too!