Community Magazine

Chefs of the Future

By Jean Campbell

chefs

There’s an organization in Vancouver, Canada that just may be grooming a new generation of future chefs.

This new generation is being introduced to urban agriculture and preparing healthy foods during the years when they, as young children, are developing eating habits and preferences for certain foods .

Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture is a non profit organization that runs a Classroom Gardening Program in elementary schools to get kids excited about growing, cooking, and eating good, healthy food.

The program pairs chefs who are volunteers with classrooms (grades 1-3) to give students hands-on gardening and cooking experience.

Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture has two primary goals:

  • To support and encourage the development and growth of urban agriculture
  • To provide an avenue for chefs and growers to engage in the community and to support food sustainability

Growing Chefs! creates a forum for chefs, educators, growers, community groups, and families to work together to further awareness of food sustainability.

Most importantly, the organization teaches children that they can grow their own food, even in the city. It inspires them to become urban farmers.

The Classroom Gardening Program runs every year from March to June. Over the course of these three and a half months, the chefs visit the classroom every two weeks, helping the students plant and tend to indoor vegetable gardens.

The chefs engage the students in games, lessons, and activities focusing on plant growth, local and urban agriculture, sustainability, and nutrition. See a sample lesson. The students harvest their vegetables, and the chefs teach them to cook delicious, healthy meals with what they have grown.

For more information about this unique organization and its programs, visit www.growingchefs.ca.


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