One way to get toddlers to eat carrots and beets? Let them pick it from the ground and wash it themselves.
That’s just what 2-year-old twins Ransom and Rachel did at the Global Gardens Pond Street farm during an August field trip.
The twins and their peers from Welcome Friends Childcare & Preschool LLC visited the Boise farm to learn where the veggies they eat at day care come from and how they’re grown.
Welcome Friends is one of seven childcare facilities that partners with Global Gardens and Nutrition Works to receive fresh produce grown by local farmers from refugee backgrounds.
The program reaches between 60 and 100 children from Caldwell to Mountain Home for 18 weeks during the growing season.
“The impact of Welcome Friends Childcare's connection with Global Gardens can't be overstated,” Welcome Friends owner Jacqueline Manderscheid said. “The children in my program have multi-sensory connections with their food. It's an experience every child deserves to have.”
Read on to see some adorable pictures and video from the visit!
The partnership is part of Global Garden’s CSA program — the largest Community Supported Agriculture program in the Treasure Valley. Residents can sign up to be a CSA member and 'subscribe' to a weekly box of produce from spring to fall. Day cares receive a 25% discount through a Nutrition Works grant.
Nutrition Works delivers the produce to the day cares each week, along with nutrition handouts, coloring sheets, books and recipes.
“The kids sit on their chairs by the door when I arrive and we talk about each veggie,” said Kelli Jeffress with Nutrition Works. “They can normally identify the veggie as I start to pull it out.”
Visits to a Global Gardens farm let the kids see every step of the process — from planting the seeds to tending the garden, to harvesting and cleaning the vegetables.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Global Gardens, part of the Idaho Office for Refugees, operates six farm sites that support 16 entrepreneurial farmers from refugee backgrounds and dozens of community farmers.
Nutrition Works is a sponsoring organization of the Child and Adult Care Food Program that is committed to the wellness, healthy growth and development of children in Idaho.
Both are part of the Idaho nonprofit, Jannus Inc.
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager