Education is… making visible what is hidden as a seed.
Sustainable CAPE’s Children’s Community Garden grows year-round organic produce with participating K-6 elementary school children. Children plant, cultivate, eat (and enjoy!) local fruits and vegetables – resulting in improved health and a formative early connection to agriculture. We begin many classes with a rousing game of Tag, You’re Fit. Our popular Garden Goodie Bags are in high demand – children take them home to share what they have grown with their families. The young gardeners also deliver excess produce to their local school for the School Lunch Program.
The children themselves increase local food production & demand, and teach their families about what they’ve grown for snacks, school lunches and Goodie Bag dinner contributions. In addition, they learn sustainable, healthy practices for their bodies as well as their environment: the soil, aquifer, bay, ocean and ozone. Each autumn, the Children’s Community Garden enters their prize produce into the Truro Ag Fair Harvest Contests for ribbons and awards. We then seed and hoop the beds for winter greens.
Winter brings slower garden growth. However an abundance of beautiful paintings, drawings, sculptures and mixed-media work comes into full bloom. Each February the Truro Public Library hosts an annual exhibition of the children’s artwork based on the Children’s Community Garden. Selections from the exhibit then travel to the Barnstable County Fair and to the Truro Agricultural Fair. Each year the children’s artwork is seen by an estimated 15,000–20,000 people.
Participation in Sustainable CAPE’s Children’s Community Garden is offered through the local Recreation Program, available to residents and summer visitors regardless of income. Detailed documentation of the Garden activities facilitates replication to other towns. For further information, please visit the Children’s Community Garden Blog.