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Connecting Families in the Garden

February 10, 2017

downloadYear after year, Growing Chefs! receives support from West Coast Seeds in the form of untreated, non-gmo seeds for organic growing in our Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program.

We connected recently with their Communications Manager,  Mark Macdonald, who shared a little about his role with West Coast Seeds, and some tips about gardening with children. Thank you Mark for your time, and thank you West Coast Seeds for your ongoing support!

Hi Mark, what do you do at West Coast Seeds?
“I do most of the writing and photography for the company – for the catalogue, seed packets, and website. I’ve been here for about eight years. In my garden, I focus on the sorts of things I like to eat, so I grow a lot of salad greens. Inevitably I grow too much of most crops, but it gives me an opportunity to share with my colleagues and neighbours.”

What is it about Growing Chefs! that inspires you to give each year?
“The early start it offers for young people to think about food. Food and gardening are intimately connected, and an understanding of one is bound to broaden the experience of the other. Both cooking and growing provide a superb outlet for creativity, but at the same time they are bound by methods and practicalities. Both food and gardening bring people together. Both involve the sharing of wisdom and building community. What better activities for young people could there be?”

What would you suggest for a kids’ first garden?
“For kids, every day is super long, and a summer can seem like a lifetime. I think there is good fun to be had by planting seeds that do amazing things quickly. Plants like sunflowers and pumpkins come to mind, because in two short months they can grow to a huge size. Also, crops that produce something tangible at the end of the season are great. Drying beans and winter squash are really gratifying to grow because you get to hang onto your accomplishment (before it goes in the pot).

But ultimately, it’s the crops that kids like to eat fresh from the garden that are the most rewarding. Snacking on fresh peas in the summer is something we can all relate to.”

mark_with_sweet_peas_0x7a1397

Mark Macdonald, West Coast Seeds

Thanks again Mark, and thank you West Coast Seeds. Happy Family Day long weekend everyone!

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