The good garden

I’ve never thought much of the term “food security.”  It’s always seemed confusing to me in a time when you can turn on the TV any day and see armed guards protecting piles of food (isn’t that food security?); and, of course, the term security always conjures up that other word: “homeland.”

But I’ve never come up with anything better, and I have to agree that food security works as a big tent for a complicated concept. Ryerson University’s Centre for Studies in Food Security has as good a definition as any with its 5 As:

“Availability – sufficient food for all people at all times
– physical and economic access to food for all at all times
– access to food that is nutritious and safe, and produced in environmentally sustainable ways
– access to culturally acceptable food, which is produced and obtained in ways that do not compromise people’s dignity, self-respect or human rights
– the policies and processes that enable the achievement of food security”

But for children, of course, all of that is alphabet soup. Enter Katie Smith Milway’s new book and website of the same name, The Good Garden (from the excellent folks at Kids Can Press who are also publishing What’s for Lunch?). The author of the bestselling book, One Hen, Milway has done it again with this smart and winning tale of a little girl and her Honduran farming community who learn how sustainable growing can make their lives and the environment better.

And for parents and educators who want to take the learning a step farther, there are tons of resources on The Good Garden website, including curriculum links, free lesson plans, a quiz, a short documentary about the real child whose story inspired the book, plus a campaign to get kids involved by contributing to food banks in their area.

As the website explains, “Food security is one of the big issues of our time.” The Good Garden is an incredible resource for anyone looking to unpack this big idea with kids.


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