When I see the words urban gardening, I think sustainable, food security and local. Urban gardening is the important, and increasingly more necessary, practice of growing, harvesting, and distributing food within city communities. I’m working with two public schools in low-income areas of Jackson, Mississippi to build urban school gardens. There are not many outdoor markets or grocery stores that sell fresh produce there, making urban gardening all the more important!
I think it is crucial that students witness food’s entire growing process so they realize and appreciate that food does not magically appear in pre-packaged containers. Having gardens in urban areas encourages students to choose more wholesome foods over processed convenience snacks that could contribute to obesity. My goal for the urban gardens I work at is to provide hands-on cooking and gardening demonstrations with my students (and their caretakers) so they’ll understand where food comes from and how it reaches their dining tables. For instance, many children eat French fries but don’t know that potatoes come from the ground. One day, I hope to hear my students tell their parents, “Mom and Dad, let's grow some carrots!”
But I can’t do it alone, and this is where Whole Kids Foundation® opens in a new tab and PACT opens in a new tab comes in. If you haven’t heard of PACT, you need to check it out! More than just a clothing company, they’re a group of dedicated individuals helping us change the world for the better. PACT helps fund great causes – PACTivist campaigns – and this time, they've partnered withIndiegogo opens in a new tab and Whole Kids Foundation to help school gardens grow. My PACTivist campaign involves Dawson Elementary School. Check it out right here opens in a new tab to see photos of happy kids tasting homemade ranch dressing and 3rd graders hard at work weeding their garden. To fully fund our garden, we have just about one month to raise $2,500 through digital fundraising. Sounds crazy, right? But with the help of PACT, I believe my PACTivist campaign can reach its goal. Thank you PACT, Whole Foods Foundation, and Indiegogo for giving me this wonderful opportunity! Is there an Urban Garden campaign in your city? Find out here opens in a new tab!