Global Gardens teacher Symon (left); helps Ryan and Andrea (right) shape an earthen oven during a summer program at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Tuesday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Today’s Tulsa World included a great article about the Global Gardens summer program at Rosa Parks Elementary School. For those who don’t know Global Gardens uses gardening and hands-on science to empower low-income kids and communities. Here in Tulsa it has done just that! The program at Rosa Parks faced the challenge of providing meals to participants after the schools Summer Food Program closes at the end of June. In previous years, program staff made meals on a single hot plate. From my own college experience, I know it can be difficult to make a meal for one or two people on a hot plate, let alone 20 kids plus program staff. While brainstorming what to do to solve this problem one of the kids in the program suggested an earthen oven like those his family in Mexico uses to cook enchiladas, tamales, and even bread. The staff looked into the idea and put the plan into action. Soon, they will have a fully functioning earthen oven in their communal garden.
The one thing that really struck me about this story was how program staff included participants in the problem-solving process and also in the follow through. This really highlights how programs like Global Gardens empower kids. It teaches them how to face challenges head on and implement solutions, which is a valuable lesson for every person to learn, not just low-income children. It also seems that the program is fostering a desire to improve their communities, which is demonstrated in two quotes from participants.
First, from Erendira a fifth grader: (more…)
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The Westside Harvest Market (2232 S. Nogales Ave) is having its grand opening celebration this Saturday from noon to 3pm. They’ve actually been open for a while now, but now that the Eugene Field neighborhood’s first grocer can accept food stamps and WIC, they’re having a big to-do.
The event will feature free food (hot dogs and brisket, and stuff for the herbivores among you), music, door prizes, and a jupiter jump.
The store is the result of some very big-hearted and visionary people at First United Methodist Church and Global Gardens, as well as the involvement of neighborhood residents over the course of planning.
The market will bring fresh groceries and produce to the area at more reasonable prices than the bruised bananas and stale crackers at the nearby Shell station. I also hear there may be some very locally grown produce from the farmer-children of Global Gardens at Eugene Field starting this summer. The building also boasts a small coffee lounge, a teaching kitchen (to help parents learn how to prepare meals with fresh and nutritious ingredients), an art studio, and classroom space for Global Gardens.
The teaching kitchen is in need of new or gently used supplies and equipment. You can bring in your own or purchase off the Harvest Market’s registry at Target. Access it online or request the list under the name Donnie Caddy at your local store.
Image used under a Creative Commons license from flickr user Jeremy Brooks.
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The Harvest Tulsa grocery store will have its “soft opening” this Saturday, and will be open from 10am to 6pm. The store, located on Nogales just north of W. 23rd St., will make groceries and fresh food accessible to the residents of the Eugene Field area. The project is the result of collaboration between Global Gardens, some committed members of First United Methodist Church, Eugene Field elementary, and neighborhood residents.
Prior to the opening of the Harvest, the only s0urce of groceries for the neighborhood was the area convenience store, outrageous mark-ups, unhealthy food, and all.
The store will eventually accept WIC and Food Stamps (it must first be open for a certain period of time) and hopes to carry produce grown by the elementary schoolers with Global Gardens plots.
I hope to make it out there on Saturday and check it out. And you should too!
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