This past Tuesday December 13th we paid another visit to the Hawtree Creek MS, though it was a bit chilly out the sun was shining and we spent some time in the garden. We harvested a large amount of parsley from the raised bed, which the kids split up and took home with them. The kids then went around and picked up pieces of trash that had found its way into the space and learned how to remove this past seasons plants from the beds. Everything pulled from the beds went into the compost pile, along with two buckets of coffee grounds, they mixed the compost a bit and we moved in doors.
Now usually we make something with them, in October it was pesto and November it was Hummus; this time we went about things a bit differently. We wanted to spend time talking with them about what organic means and what GMO's are. Why it's so important to know what they are eating and what the food they buy at the stores is made from, where it's comes from. So what is GMO? Well, a GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Now you may say what does organic really mean? Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. It's pretty easy when you ready them side by side to make the choice to go organic.
So this month we brought them in snacks that were all organic and GMO free, things like chocolate chip cookies, animal crackers, as well as chips and salsa. While we all snacked together the kids took turns reading the labels of the different items so they could see for themselves that all the ingredients were not only pronounceable but all natural. We really enjoyed being able to spend time just talking about healthy food choices with the kids and hearing their feed back. It was, as it always is, great to spending the afternoon with this fantastic group of kids.