Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Kansas City Community Gardens: Connecting Gardeners of All Ages: With the Help of Kansas City Community Gardens, Children in Kansas City, Missouri, Are Learning That Carrots and Tomatoes Don't Grow in Cans or Refrigerators

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Kansas City Community Gardens: Connecting Gardeners of All Ages: With the Help of Kansas City Community Gardens, Children in Kansas City, Missouri, Are Learning That Carrots and Tomatoes Don't Grow in Cans or Refrigerators

Article excerpt

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The nonprofit works with about 3,000 students at 80 schools through its in-school program and field trips at its own site. The organization also runs two community gardens, helps with gardens operated by other nonprofits, and offers workshops for backyard gardeners.

Both the children's Beanstalk garden at the nonprofit's Swope Park Community Garden base and the Schoolyard Gardens program allow kids to touch and taste as they learn. "We want them to garden so they'll eat healthy and to learn where food comes from, because kids today are so disconnected from that," says Ben Sharda, executive director of Kansas City Community Gardens.

The Beanstalk garden program teaches about plants, insects, nutrition, and food production. With Schoolyard Gardens, kids garden and sometimes do cooking projects.

Kansas City Community Gardens has an impact outside schools, too. About 200 households, mostly low-income, garden at Swope Park and Freeway Park Community Garden. A $2 annual membership nets seeds, fertilizer, and the opportunity to buy additional discounted seeds and plants from the organization's greenhouse. …

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