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December 30, 2008


Carlos Meltzer

I love your post on Edible and love your enthusiasm for the program. I wanted to take a moment to write about some work we are doing in five elementary schools down in Houston, Texas that is along the same lines. Recipe for Success Foundation aims to tackle childhood obesity by introducing children to experiential learning in both Recipe Gardens and Kitchen Classrooms. Through our Chefs in School program (where local chefs adopt a class and teach children to cook healthy meals over the entire school year) and various other programs, we have integrated both gardening and cooking into the daily life of elementary school children.

Over the past two and half years, we have been diligently working in these Title One schools to make healthy foods available to lower income communities and create a model that can be replicated anywhere. In the fall of this year, we plan to begin replicating our work in new schools and community centers in Houston and beyond.

The combination of kids growing and cooking their own food allows children to understand nature, organic gardening and what real fresh food is. Many of the vegetables and herbs grown are incorporated in our cooking lessons thereby reinforcing our seed-to-plate philosophy and the bumper crop has allowed us to start setting up on-campus Farmer's Markets for parents. We also have after school programs and a summer program that reinforce our philosophy while introducing students to new skills and opportunities. The responses from the children have been priceless! They are so excited to participate in our programs and we've been delighted to watch them devour fruits and vegetables that were foreign to them before this.

We love Edible and I am so glad that ideas from the west coast are being integrated to our little coast down south.

I can't wait to hear about more programs like these across America!

Anne Nagro

I loved the story on The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley! Across the country, more and more schools are starting vegetable gardens to teach children healthy eating habits, where food comes from and how to grow their own, science and math, and the values of responsibility, respect and cooperation. I run a school garden share-site called http://www.GardenABCs.com and encourage you to submit information about your school garden project. You'll find grants, links, curricula, programs, events and more. Also, I'm the author of a new children's book, Our Generous Garden, which follows elementary students as they plan, plant and harvest a vegetable garden, eating some and donating 900 pounds to their local food bank. Learn more at http://www.gardenabcs.com/OurGenerousGarden.html. It's received great reviews and is a fun way to introduce gardening to children.

Organic Vegetable Gardening

What a fantastic idea! I really do think it is important to get children involved in the garden as it gives them some responsibility as well as the enjoyment of what they can produce.

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