For a week in July the farm had a very special guest, Andrew Nowak one of the founders of Slow Food Gardens came to help us in the busiest week the farm has ever seen! Slow Food has always been an organization we have really felt connected with. It was a pleasure to host Andrew and learn more about their latest national program for school gardens and how they are expanding beyond the United States! Join Andrew and me in the greenhouse and get inspired to teach kids how to grow a garden at your local school!
Andrew Nowak moved to Denver in 2001, it was there that he took part in his children’s school garden. His interest in connecting kids with where food comes from became a passion and he connected his school garden with his local Slow Food chapter. Over the next decade, he helped develop 60 school gardens statewide.
Each of these school gardens included curriculum for the students and programs to connect the production from the gardens into the kids daily lives. A young farmers market taught the kids how to build a business with their produce. All of the funds raised from these events went right back into the gardens. Another program was aimed at allowing the cafeteria to use the produce the classes had grown in their lunch programs.
By 2013, it was time to take the Slow Food Gardens to the National level. With a grant from Chipotle, Andrew was able to do just that! Today, there are 1200 Slow Food School Gardens nationwide, and free gardening curriculum available to anyone to help their school create a garden.
Our passion on the farm is teaching people to grow their own food so that they can go on and spread the empowering knowledge of gardening to the next generation. Slow Food Gardens makes sharing with a school that much easier. Their curriculum, Good, Clean, and Fair focuses on educating kids about gardening, better cooking methods, preserving seed and making high-quality food more easily available to everyone.
Slow Food Gardens is now going beyond the national level. Many African school gardens are now partnering with Slow Food Gardens for their international pen pal program. Now school gardens from all over the world are sharing growing methods, support, and innovative ideas.
Would you like to join Andrew Nowak and Slow Food Gardens to bring a school garden to your area? Check out Slow Food Gardens to begin giving back in one of the greatest ways possible, by sharing a garden with the future generations. If starting a school garden feels overwhelming, try finding a school garden at one of your local schools that are already established and volunteering time! A little help with these programs will make them that much better for the students participating.
I look forward to hearing how you help to teach the kids in your life the power of gardening.
Until then, may your garden be easy, fun, productive and always organic!
P.S. Save this article to your gardening Pinterest board for quick reference!