By Cindy Naas
Those of us involved in the urban farming movement already know the benefits of growing our own.
The next step is to make sure we pass this on to the next generation.
Dorset Cereals, a UK-based company, has stepped forward with a winning idea to address this issue.
Dorset Cereals produce various organic cereals filled with good things. Their concern for children now extends to the Edible Playground Project.
An edible playground is a place for schoolchildren to grow all manner of fruits and vegetables. In the Edible Playground website are tips not only for getting started with creating a child’s veggie garden, but also projects which children will find fun. For example, they give instructions for creating wrapping paper and making gift stamps from potatoes.
The Edible Playground Project not only provides children with space to grow, it brings together members of the community. Volunteers are always needed in such undertakings in order to bring the expertise the children lack to the project. Also, after the gardens are in and food is being produced, the children are taught about healthy eating and cooking by being allowed to cook and eat the food their gardens produce.
Edible Playground Project is currently available only in the UK. However, I would love to see someone here in the U.S. take this idea and run with it. Imagine planting a garden in an inner city school- suddenly a concrete jungle brightens up the playground with new colours and textures, and children could be given the food to take home.
Planting such a garden in a suburban school might provide a local food bank with additional fresh produce. The possibilities are endless when volunteers agree to spend some time working to improve their communities. Volunteering with such a group as Edible Playgrounds ensures that our children learn these values to pass along to the next generation.
This sounds like a win-win situation to me!