Everyone who reads Snack Girl is at least thinking about healthy eating. They may not be doing it right now - but they are considering it.
The photo above was taken last week at my local elementary school. What are those volunteer worker bees doing? They are planting a garden that will be filled with vegetables, fruits, and berries for the children of the school.
This elementary school happens to be the one my children attend. It is a lovely school and it is named after the farm that it was built upon - Crocker Farm. When I first laid eyes on it, I wondered why there wasn't a garden. And, I guess I wasn't the only one.
This garden gift is especially important given that we have an obesity EPIDEMIC in this country. The word "epidemic" seems to sound scary when we use it with a virus such such as "SARS epidemic". Somehow "obesity epidemic" doesn't terrify us enough. Two out of every three Americans is overweight or obese.
According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008.
What are we going to do about it? Michelle Obama decided to plant a garden on the grounds of the White House. I did think this kitchen garden was a great move, but I like the one at my elementary school even more.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. - Chinese Proverb
It is a step in the right direction for the students, teachers, and health professionals that inhabit the school everyday. As the school figures out how to include the garden in the curriculum and (hopefully) the school lunch, everyone is going to learn about healthy eating in the most fundamental way possible. Dirt, seeds, water, plants....FOOD!
One teacher I spoke to was thrilled to be able to grow peas to teach a class about measurements. The school nurse told me she couldn't wait for the students to try the fresh vegetables that the garden will eventually produce.
I want to thank everyone who gave their time, money, and support to the new garden (especially Jeff and Alex). It is inspirational to me to know that we can come together and make something so important happen.
And, I can't WAIT to help the kindergartners plant the cherry tomatoes :-)
Please share this post with your friends and think about what you might contribute to your local school or community by planting a garden.
“I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets.....” - William James
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