Junior Master Gardener youth program begins
The other week, a colleague of mine and I began a youth program called Junior Master Gardener – Learn, Grow, Eat & Go! It’s a curriculum that was developed by Texas A&M to help youth learn about gardening, plants, healthy eating, and getting up and moving. One of the great things about the curriculum is that it incorporates taste testing a different vegetable each week. Some weeks it might be something the youth are familiar with; others they may not have ever heard of before – week one is carrots, another week is bok choy. Then there is a corresponding recipe that utilizes that same vegetable that is also provided as a sample to youth.
What I love about the curriculum is that it encourages youth to try new things, healthy vegetables that can easily be incorporated into their diet. Youth are encouraged to try the samples and recipes; they don’t have to like them, but we discuss what they thought about the vegetable on its own and then the recipe that used that vegetable. They aren’t allowed to use words such as eww, yuck, ick or similar, but must use words that really describe what they thought. It’s a great way to work on observation skills and sharing their thoughts using descriptive words.