Saturday, June 23, 2012

Educational Gardening: Healthy Kids Grow

Someone asked me recently what we intend to do with our farm once it’s up and running. The answer is simple, yet complicated. We intend to follow in the footsteps of our friends at Healthy Kids Grow over in Lee, Illinois. Manager, Deborah Lundin Baconnier, has set aside a 100-year-old farm to show kids and adults that having access to fresh fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to cost a fortune. She intends to do this through classes, workshops, and working models of gardens all taking place place on her farm.
Healthy Kids grow

While we’re still at least a year away from fundraising here at Reclaiming The Farm, Healthy Kids Grow is doing it now. They’re gearing up to open in time for the 2013 summer season but they need help. There’s a 100-year-old hog shed that needs to be turned into a large greenhouse for year-round growing and classes, as well as many other things that will make their dream a reality.

What they intend to teach:

  • Gardening 101 - Learning how to grow and produce fruits and vegetables
  • Plant Identification - You would be surprised how many people don't know that carrots grow in the ground or peas grow in a pod.
  • Canning and Preserving - Learn how to make your harvest last the whole year
  • Cooking with Vegetables
  • Raw Foods and Smoothies - Even kids that don't like their veggies will find a way to love them with these smoothies.
  • Composting - Learning to turn your trash into your fertilizer
  • Weeds - Not all weeds are bad and many actually provide valuable nutrition
  • Raising Chickens - Everything to chicken identification to feed and care
  • City Farming - This class will take everything they learn on the farm and modify it to work in a small city yard using creative gardening containers.
  • Recycled Gardening - Using recycled containers to create imaginative gardens

These goals are very similar to our own. Like us, Deborah and her family want to host school field trips, offer educational resources, and provide working examples of gardens to meet any budget or space.

You can learn more about Healthy Kids Grow and make a donation at And keep checking back here for updates on how they’re doing!

As for us, our goals include a community composting project, workshops and working models on water conservation, small farm start-up, working models of urban and suburban gardening ideas, accessible gardening solutions, and more. We’re still working on our business outline and deciding what’s feasible and what’s not for our region. But, we promise to keep you all in the loop.

In the meantime, check out Healthy Kids Grow and get involved. It will be well worth your time!

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