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KCR Head Start gives kids, families hands-on food experience
Kitsap Community Resources’ Head Start program has a new place for learning to take place and it’s not in the classroom.
It’s a vegetable garden situated just behind the Park Avenue building in downtown Bremerton.
Lisa Tindall, a nutritionist for KCR’s Head Start program, said programs across the nation were motivation and inspiration for them to create their own garden project in Bremerton.
“Our director, Connie Mueller, came to me about a year ago and asked if I wanted to grow a garden for children and families,” Tindall said. “And I said, ‘Oh yeah!’”
One of the many goals of Head Start, according to Tindall, is to encourage families to eat healthier, and she said the best way to do that is to learn how to grow your own food.
“A lot of our families maybe don’t know a lot about gardening,” Tindall added. “Or they live in apartments and don’t have access to a place to garden.”
With the economy the way it is now, she said not only is it a healthy alternative, but also is a way to combat rising prices.
“If a parent comes down here and works for one hour in the garden, they will take home a bag of vegetables,” she said.
The garden also teaches kids more about what is involved in creating food and how food grows.
“A lot of our children have never seen that,” she said. “The children are really fascinated by food and it is very ‘sciency’ too because they learn about biology.”
Tindall said that a lot of other types of learning happen in the garden too.
“They learn to be careful with things that are delicate,” she said. “They learn what helps things to grow and they learn to care.”
The end result of the teaching also is a positive for the program, Tindall added.
“And then you have this end result of healthy food that is organic,” she said.
The project had community help as well, according to Tindall. Kitsap County Solid Waste Division donated compost and worm bins, Raintree Nursery provided plants at a 10 percent discount and Clear Creek Nursery provided them with discounted garden soil.
“We are very grateful to them all,” she said.