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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Feature: Growing Chefs!

Founded in 2005, the non-profit Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children's Urban Agriculture program pairs volunteer chefs with elementary school classrooms, and with the help of chefs, students learn how to plant, grow, and cook their own vegetables. Just this year, over 2 dozen elementary schools from Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, West Vancouver, and Richmond participated in the program.

Each year, elementary schools sign up for the Classroom Gardening Program, which starts every year after spring break and extends from March through June. The program is available for Grades 1 through 3.

Credit: Growing Chefs!

Wait a second: urban agriculture? Cue the looks of interest. How exactly does that work?

Urban agriculture is often used to refer to the restructuring of urban spaces to incorporate food production operations into areas that are densely populated -- in short, growing food in the city. This could mean anything from keeping chickens in your backyard, tending a small garden on your apartment balcony, or growing herbs in a pot on your windowsill.

The Growing Chefs! program tackles themes of food sustainability by attempting to get children involved, in the steps from gardening and grocery shopping to meal planning and preparation.

The mission of the non-profit society is to support and encourage the development and growth of urban agriculture and to provide an avenue for chefs and food growers to engage in the community and to support food sustainability.

For more information on Growing Chefs!, visit their website: http://www.growingchefs.ca/

For teachers and schools and to sign up: http://www.growingchefs.ca/teachers-program-info

For chefs interested in signing up to volunteer: http://www.growingchefs.ca/volunteer-program-info

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