After 130 years of cultivation, the dirt at Marra Farm is like no other. 130 years is a long time. “It’s probably older than your grandma’s grandma”, I would tell the wonder-struck kids as they wandered through our sunflower forests this summer. “After 130 years, this dirt understands more about good health than we’re ever likely to know.”
Under the shade of these magnificent 10-foot tall sun-towers, we’ve been bonding with the dirt and cooking up its marvelous creations.
|How do you grow magical sunflowers?
By using magical soil!
Here are seven lessons, tips, and grubby seeds left behind from our summer kids’ nutrition education classes at Marra Farm and the Seattle Community Farm.
We built our summer series with preschoolers around the theme of colors. We prepared a rainbow of recipes: purple kohlrabi and beet hummus, orange carrot and yam mish-mash, yellow squash and eggs — you get the idea. The kids ate it all up! The theme of colors integrates beautifully with the MyPlate nutrition guidelines. Because really, who doesn’t want to eat a rainbow?
We’re also delighted by the rainbow of colorful signs created by summer interns and a new mosaic garden mural at the Seattle Community Farm installed by our amazing community partners at Coyote Central.
|Mosaic at the Seattle Community Farm|
Variations on the Familiar = Lesson Success
If You Can Say It, You Can Sing It
And if you can sing it, then you can dance it! I even studied up on my Sprinkler dance moves this summer.
Chickens are the New Carrots
Bravery Bites Matter
- Don’t Yuck My Yum. We respect that everyone has different tastes.
- Take a Bravery Bite. You don’t have to love it; you do have to try it.
Adults are Role Models (All the Time)
Garden-based Nutrition Education Works
- Measuring student preference for vegetables through surveys. During our spring classes, students increased their preference for every single one of the vegetables that we surveyed them on – including an impressive 16% increase in gusto for kale!
- Using “tasting charts,” where kids rate the snack of the day. Anyone who thinks kids can’t like vegetables needs to check out the results from summer our class of students ages 6–9 from the South Park Community Center.
We continue to look for additional creative methods that illustrate how this crucial work changes lives.