SOWING SEEDS PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN, ages 6-12.
Sowing Seeds. Helping Feed. Inspiring Youth to Take the Lead.
What is Sowing Seeds?
Sowing Seeds grew from a shared belief by a few teachers: that when we support young people to connect with their community and local environment, they grow in knowledge, love, care, and stewardship of place. Sowing Seeds grew from an identified need- to provide children with more experiences of play and learning in nature. Author Richard Louv, in his book Last Child in the Woods, coined the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder” to describe this frightening disconnection that is becoming all too common among children, that they are more connected with their gadgets than with the birds, trees, stones, insects, and so many other parts of nature that once so frequented a child’s early life as they went outside to play. Now free time has turned heavily to TVs, phones, and iPads, which concerns many educators, childhood development specialists, health professionals, and parents. Children need outdoor play. To feel the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, and to experience the strength and resilience of nature, to realize this strength and resilience in themselves.
Sowing Seeds is our initiative to address not only “Nature-Deficit Disorder,” but also food insecurity in our community and to help children cultivate skills and knowledge of the origin of food, how to grow their own food and save seed, how to cook their own meals from fresh veggies and fruits, how to craft from pieces of nature, and to discover their own sense of belonging, peace, and confidence through this journey.
Above: Sowing Seeds kids start their peach tree nursery. They will then learn to sell these to raise funds that they decide as a group how to spend. We work to provide experiences that will connect the dots and open their minds to the way they can impact their local community in positive ways.
Sowing Seeds is a children’s program funded by the Washington County Community Foundation, specifically focused on supporting children in Washington County to:
*Become ecoliterate and grow in understanding of the lands, plants, and animals with whom they share their community.
*Learn the basics of what a local business is, how it can support the local community, and how to start a local food, wildcrafting, or nursery business.
*Learn how to start a garden and grow their own food.
*Learn how to feed themselves and others– from seed to harvest to kitchen prep to the dinner table.
*Learn how to choose foods that nourish their bodies.
*Learn how to wildcraft with natural materials, using their own hands and creativity.
*Learn the practices of sustainable farming and permaculture.
*Learn the meaning of food justice:
Food Justice is communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment. -JustFood.org
*Discover their own leadership abilities in caring for their environment, the plants and animals, and one another– helping them live a life connected in ways that help them to realize they are not alone: that we are connected to everything.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”