Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunflowers and Food!

I was lucky today, I got to go to the farm, and not just any farm, Worden Farm. This 55-acre, organic farm is owned and operated by Chris and Eva Worden, two amazing human beings who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do!

I’ve been lucky enough to take kids out to spend time at the farm for WGCU’s Curious Kids!programs in the past, and now I’m dreaming up a new project called From Seeds to Me! which will connect kids to organic farming at the Worden's! Stay tuned!

Worden Farm is a community-oriented, certified organic farm, situated close to Punta Gorda in Southwest Florida. They are a member-supported farm and they feed about 2,000 families a week during growing season!! That is AMAZING!! They so have food stands at several local Farmers Markets, so if you live in Southwest Florida check their website for locations and times:

That's Eva picking Mizuna, a Japanese green that's kind of peppery! Tasted really good actually! They have apprenticeship programs at the farm if you are interested in learning about organic farming.

OK, so back to sunflowers. Eva took me around the fields today, despite 90-degree heat, phew! Because this is southwest Florida, the growing season is just beginning, but she told me that they planted sunflowers early because they attract beneficial insects and also small birds like warblers and wrens that pick off the grubs and caterpillars that are harmful to the plants.

Getting to know how the Soil Food Web works is really eye opening and quite amazing. My friend Carolyn Herriot’s Blog is very helpful and her book, A Year on the Garden Path is quite brilliant.

So back to kids, how does today’s Blog Sunflowers and Food? Well, I happen to think that a good way to begin environmental education is to connect kids to food and a good place to start is the soil, the water and the air.

Sunflowers are fairly easy to grow, there’s even a National Sunflower Association!!

Sunflower seeds are great to eat, and if you leave them in the garden they'll attract all kinds of birds in the fall, as the seeds form.

I have posted a song called This is Me! on my Myspace page; this song is for younger kids – maybe 4-6 and it’s goal is to teach them how our bodies are nourished by all the elements. I’ll leave it up for a few days, it will be on my next CD. It’s just a demo at the moment, and will be part of a package for early childhood education that I am developing in Montreal with the Women’s Y. The other song that’s up there related to food is No Sugar, No Fries!

Out at Worden Farm they grow so many different kinds of vegetables and they already had tomatoes, squash, collard greens, arugula, tastoi (Asian spinach) and a host of other things growing! Hey, today I got to eat Mizuna and Tatsoi – I have never eaten them before and I eat a lot of greens, so that was my new discovery of the day! Maybe there’s a song there…Mizuna luna!

For the earth, with lots of gratitude.


No comments:

Post a Comment