COMMUNITY: from small seeds, great things grow
A wise storyteller once said "from small things, great things grow..."
Growing Chefs epitomizes this concept. Over the years as a renown pastry chef, Merry Schwartz, began to realize that her knowledge around food sustainability and nutrition was confined to the kitchens in which she worked. In an effort to share her 'no-how', in 2005 she founded Growing Chefs and partnered with elementary schools in B.C. to devise a curriculum that would connect classroom and community.
Since its inception, Growing Chefs has expanded considerably, with the support of 65 volunteers, the organization is now active in 17 classrooms across B.C. Programs function on three and a half month rotations, where every two weeks, chefs use games to engage students in plant education. During this time, chefs act as a mentor for students, working together to plant, maintain, harvest and prepare healthy meals with their produce.
Perhaps Schwartz's greatest success is reaching students at an early age and expanding our classroom curriculum to instill an appreciation for food and its life cycle. When the bell rings for recess and it comes for the snack exchange, how cool would it be for the entire school yard to announce 'I grew it myself' !?