Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To Grow Box - the inside scoop!

For three years SAGE has been offering a 6-week garden-education workshop for low-income individuals and families called "To Grow Box." Participants in the class come out to the garden once a week to learn all the ins-and-outs of growing fresh food and cooking from the garden. Childcare is provided, though many of the kids help with the harvesting and some of the cooking! All of the families and individuals take home a box or bag of fresh veggies to use during the week. On of the participants submitted her inspiring To Grow Box story for us to share with you:

"If you are interested in feeding fresh and nutritious produce to yourself and your family, the 'To Grow Box' program at SAGE is for you.

Every Wednesday evening for six weeks, I learned some kind of skill that would help me garden at home. I worked in the SAGE garden, ate a meal with produce picked that evening, and harvested food for myself.

The first week, I took home less than three pounds of food—mainly because I wasn’t sure about what I would eat, how much I would eat, and whether I would be interested in cooking this stuff for myself. By the last class, five weeks later, I was taking home triple the amount of food and was cooking more meals at home. Opening a can of tuna was replaced by potato and kale soup, and tortilla chips from the bag were replaced by kale chips that I made for myself.

I’ve eaten fresh lettuce, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic, and been amazed at the taste—what a difference from store-stale produce! I learned to garden in containers, even sampled some edible weeds, and made new friends.

Thank you, Rachel and Pam, for including me in the program and for increasing my passion for gardening and for eating local, fresh, tasty produce!"

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