Prevent Childhood Obesity: Early Childhood Education Kids Raised Bed Garden

Alright! This is John Kohler with
today we’re here at the “Garden of Eatin” another local garden. It’s about 8000 square
feet and they have a really cool purpose and their purpose is to prevent childhood obesity
by teaching kids under five. So, this place is teaching youngsters that
aren’t even in school yet, this is like pre-education and teaching them about eating
the best foods possible: fresh fruits and fresh vegetables picked from the garden. It’s
amazing! I’m happy I’m here, we’re going to speak with David, who runs this place.
He’s going to tell us more about that and now we’re going to take a look at what’s
growing on inside. So, we’re sitting here on another raised
bed this is a really cool design. Once again, they’re trying to basically enhance the
number of edges here so more kids can be in a bed and be in this garden and find things
to pick and to eat because after all that’s the goal of this garden, to teach kids that
food comes from the Earth and not from the grocery store and not from the fast food place.
Plus this place is here to let kids know how good food can really taste and I’ve heard
some of the kids that go through this program, or most of the kids who go through this program,
after they taste the food here they’re telling their parents to buy the foods out of the
produce section instead of out of the middle of the store that has all the processed foods
and maybe the foods that aren’t so good for us. There’s so many things to talk about here
I won’t be able to cover them all today but one of the things I did want to talk about
were these Earth Bags. So, these Earth Bags are made by the company CalEarth I learned
more about them today and what you do with these Earth Bags is you just fill them up
with 90% soil, whether it’s your local soil or whatever you have in your property, fill
them up and use about 10% concrete and they’re going to form really hard… I mean, this
is hard, it’s like concrete literally, but it’s mostly the soil that was here. And
then what you do is you layer up one layer at a time and in between the layers you put
some barbed wire and then you stick it together and the barbed wire acts to hold it all together.
Really ingenious, Earth Bags, CalEarth is the company that makes it, they’re out of
Southern California and you can check them out online. You can make a raised bed or actually
even other building structure so, they actually make these to design these to build houses
and all kinds of crazy stuff. So, do a search for Earth Bags to find out more about that. What they have growing on in this bed here
are basically a bunch of different herbs. They have some basil over here, of course
the magenta spreen lambsquarter that’s gone to seed and when it goes to seed it’s no
longer magenta. Behind me here they have more signs for the kids “taste me”. They have
a picture of sorrel and most adults would say “Oh sorrel, I don’t want to taste
that” and of course they have a sign to let kids know “Pick a leaf, wash and eat”
to let them know to wash their produce is really important and to learn about hygiene.
And the sorrel, I heard that the kids love to eat the sorrel because it’s like those
hard lemon candies when you’re a kid. Besides the sorrel here of course they have
some other herbs growing and of course they have some stevia and here’s the stevia and
I bet the kids really get a kick out of this because this is a leaf that tastes so sweet
like sugar, but it does not contain any sugar. So, that’s really healthy for kids to get
them hooked on, stevia, at a young age. So, let’s… Oh I see David over here he’s
actually the founder and the director of this place, of the garden and we’re going to
go ahead and talk to him next and he’s going to share more with us. Why the garden is here
and how it got started and just everything you want to know about this. Oh and I do want
to point out another [thing] they have an education book that is available for pre…
basically school kids, so 5 and below, that they make available for free. So, people that
are into early education can basically teach kids about eating their fruits and vegetables
because I think it’s very important to do that. So, I’m so excited to have David the project
director here of Garden of Eatin’ and he basically started all this and this program
to teach kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and the reason for that is to basically prevent
childhood obesity and if they learn young as a child to eat their fresh fruits and vegetables,
they’re probably not going to be obese as a child or at any age. So, I’m excited to
have him here with me today. And David, why did you start this program? (DAVID) Well, it’s really simple John, and
thank you for coming and I love the fact that you’ve had a chance to look at my garden,
it’s been great. And this garden is 6 years old. (JOHN) Wow! (DAVID) So all this things you see before
you it was a complete field of empty but I started this program because I believe our
children need to be protected. As a grandfather, as a father, the childhood obesity rates are
meaning that our children are getting diabetes, they’re getting cardiovascular diseases
and the causes for obesity are immense. There are lots of reasons why kids are having trouble,
but the cure is simple. They eat fresh fruits and vegetables and they’ll be protected,
so this is our reason. (JOHN) Wow! So even as adults… He was talking
about kids eating fresh fruits and vegetables, even adults need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables
too I believe. (DAVID) Yeah, as we talked before the fresh
and vegetables will protect you from all amazing numbers of diseases; good food is the best
medicine you can have. And the reason I love working in this garden is I’m working with
0 to 5 year olds John and I believe you have to have early intervention. The earlier you
can get them before they become addicted to the salt, sugars and fat then they’re going
to have a chance. Because out there is not a friendly world for these children, parents
are working hard, often times they see dinner through the window of a car and so it’s
to train their taste buds to learn to choose fresh and to give them an opportunity to taste
sorrel, to taste stevia, to taste pomegranate, the figs, everything we grow here; it’s
alive, it’s fresh and it’s beautifully delicious. And so, one of the amazing things is if they
eat one green bean here they think all green beans taste like that so they’re good, it’s
good, it’s a wonderful program and we’re reaching about 1000 children and we’ve been
doing it for 6 years. (JOHN) Wow! That’s great! So what can you
say for the adults of my viewers here that have children? You know, should they grow
gardens? And what are some things that they should grow that you’ve seen kids particularly
like more than other things? (DAVID) Well, every child needs a garden,
that goes without saying. (JOHN) Every family, every person needs a
garden. (DAVID) And the things that I plant here are
things they can handle with their own little hands, so it’s a lot of little things and
probably the finest one of all is the sugar snap pea. They can eat the whole pod and when
it’s ripe and delicious it’s just like candy. And then you go with snap beans, you
go with the smaller cucumbers, you go with the greens peppers which you saw, the tomatoes
and it’s all the smaller fruit that they can eat ripe, eat right off the vine. So a
big zucchini, what do they do with the big zucchini? They’ve got to take it in. But
what’s even more amazing is if you get a lot of these fruits and vegetables when they’re
young, it doesn’t matter you don’t need to cook them. We had the most amazing lesson this year with
kohlrabi, and you say “kohlrabi” to most adults and they look at you and don’t have
any idea what you’re doing but it had the beautiful flavor of cauliflower and the texture
of jicama when you sliced it raw. So, again, we’re eating it directly out of the garden,
they’re having that immediate taste. And John, what we do here is we have kind of a
rule we do everything with intention, and the intention… we’ve designed this garden
with intention and our intention is to keep our children healthy. The second thing we
do is basically, if they can’t experience it, don’t teach it. (JOHN) I see. (DAVID) You have to give them a tangible experience.
What child is going to know about vitamin C, they don’t know their left foot from
their right foot, they’re just learning how to do it but they do know what they like
to taste and that’s a solid, beautiful experience. And the third thing to make sure that this
is a profound long term behavioral change is that you have to give them an emotion that
wraps the other two, the intention and the experience. And then with the emotion… and
the emotion we have here at the Garden of Eatin’ is the emotion of joy, they are joyful.
I make sure teachers here are soft, I make sure that we don’t coerce a child; if they
don’t want to eat that’s fine, because it make take 15 times before a child will
actually taste something and like it, so you let them. And what we do is we never ever ever force
a child to eating, you’re just offering. Of course when you offer a child raspberries
and strawberries and blackberries and figs and pomegranates and all these beautiful grains
they soon become adventurous eaters. And I’ve got some of these little kids come February,
when the garden is pretty sparse, I call them my Ethiopian refugees, because they’ll eat
anything. They’ll go out and they’ll pick on the celery, they’ll come back and whether
it’s fennel, whether it’s bok choi, whether it’s silver beet, whatever it is you present
it to them in a way in which they can enjoy the experience of eating it and they will
learn to love to eat it. And all the research if profound, if a child
does not get introduced to vegetables by the time they’re five, they’re likely never
to eat them. (JOHN) Wow! (DAVID) So, and as sad as it is, working with
older children at that point I’m working on cure. With these younger ones I’m preventing
disease. And so this Garden of Eatin’ and all that we do here I think is about as good
as it gets. We’ve produced a manual. I work here at the North Bay Children Center, all
of our written material this will be posted on the website. We’ve got
600 pages of garden based information and lessons for early childhood educators. Now, this is what education is paper and that,
but as you and I know John the best education a child can get when they’re eating is eating
it fresh right off the vine. (JOHN) Experience and letting them see. I
mean, we all learn by doing, whether it’s kids or by adults, we learn by modeling others
so that’s why I have my show, that’s why David is here teaching kids because we know
we see things and we’ll want to do it. So, hopefully all you guys out there, we’re
not kids, we’re adults but I encourage everybody to have the mind of a child and be open to
growing different kinds of things and trying things in your garden. I mean, it got me lit
up when David was talking just now imagining kids picking and eating some and loving it
so much. I mean, we could do that as adults too. (DAVID) The beauty of our work, and I didn’t
believe it would happen, but I believe our children are now teaching their parents how
to eat. If you’re a grandparent, if you’re an uncle, if you’re a mother, you’re a
father, you’re a sister, stop buying your small children plastic garbage. Stop buying
them all those games, get them out of the videos, unplug the TV, throw it out; don’t
buy them soda drinks but, go out and buy them a garden and you will end up giving them life
for the rest of their life. Every child needs a garden John, let’s go out and do it. (JOHN) Every family needs a garden, every
home needs a garden, every person needs a garden. If you don’t have space to garden
find a local community garden, grow in containers in your home, you could do that, there’s
many ways to garden besides… Grow sprouts in your kitchen, just had an episode on that.
Plant a garden for your kids, for your grandkids and most importantly for yourself. So this is John Kohler with,
keep on growing!

27 thoughts on “Prevent Childhood Obesity: Early Childhood Education Kids Raised Bed Garden”

  1. He said the website is nbcc dot net backslash garden (I can't type it here or I'll get an error.) I'm checking out that site now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. its awesome to teach our young about gardening so early in life. I wish I learnt about raised bed gardening earlier in life. it would of been alot easier for my husband and I when we first started living together. We were so poor that we didnt eat vegetables for years and only ate crap. Not only does gardening prevent childhood obesity it might eventually stop adult obesity.

  3. that's great! parents see and learn too? I think if parents who (in a lazy moment) feed fast food and junk food to their kids knew how bad it would be to be terminally obese, they might think twice. cool earth bags!

  4. Thank goodness for Garden of Eatin', and blessings to both of you for the wonderful work you do! When my niece and nephew come to the Bay Area I'll be sure to take them there (and show them my balcony garden too!). Oh, and I John I wanted to let you know that having a balcony garden has inspired my mom to start too!

  5. John, this is sooo awesome! I am so inspired and moved by your and David's passion and dedication. As it happens, I have a close friend who is starting a garden at her child's Montessori school right now. I am sending this to her immediately, and I know she will be super inspired and excited. Thank you so much!

  6. I love picking something that I have never picked before and eating it! This year my new thing was Kale. I have some other plants and i am hoping for more new experiences, they are not ready yet and i am not sure if they well work out. LIVE AND LEARN:)

  7. Interesting video with good information. Definitely, John is willing to educate us about the importance of greens.

  8. It's been several years since John came to my garden and interviewed me — I just finished watching John and myself — its as good now as it was then. I want to thank John where ever he is – Thank him for his passion and dedication to growing good food, Three Cheers for you John

  9. John, your heart is so BIG!! Thank you for caring so much and big HUG to YOU! You are doing good in this world

  10. Awesome video John, love the show of passion…
    This is the perfect age we need to get the children understanding all of this stuff…There should be one of these places in every town across America…
    Great job David, its one thing to think of all this stuff, but its another thing to put it all in action and¬†see it blossom…
    Please EVERYONE listen to what David says at 11:45, this is very important, and a very big problem with our children today…

  11. WOW!!  What PASSION!  I can FEEL the LOVE you have for helping others!!  I sent you a comment and a message about mentoring me in starting a revolutionary move like this in my area.  I have such a passion, that also brings me to tears at times, for helping others get well and passing it on to younger generation.  You ARE AMAZING JOHN!!!!  God BLESS what you do for others!!!!

  12. Wonderfull episode! My daugther is 9 months old and I'm actually converting my backyard to a garden for her to experience real food. Thanks to John for this, I'm really using his methods of organic and sustainable growing methods. I live in Canada so weather is a bit different, but I'm doing research (geeking in the subject as my wife would say), but my goal is clear now : I want the better eating education for my kid, and at this age, I think, as parents, we are the primary source of it. So thanks again to John and this episode of Garden of Eatin !

  13. The body must have salt and must have fat. Must. Must. Must. If you live on a fat free diet you are starving the brain and that will end up giving you severe memory loss. Alzheimers. Dementia. You must have butter. Must. Margarine ie flora, outline, sunflower margarine, etc¬† is one molecule different from plastic.¬†Do not eat margarine. Eat butter, Drink full fat milk not skimmed milk. You must feed the brain. And salt.¬†What utter lies the media have told people¬†about salt. You must have salt. Must. Must. Must. Eat sea salt or himalayan salt.¬†Not table salt, that is a processed rubbish. See the talks on youtube by Dr JOEL WALLACH. See his talk called¬†–¬†dead doctors tell no lies-. Youtube:¬†BEN FUCHS, DR¬† PETER GLIDDEN. see Dr Mercola's talk – The 13 Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Crystal Salt,¬†the Purest Salt on Earth".

  14. I thank you David and John for letting the youth and the people know that real nutrient dense food is the best medicine and that getting in touch with Mother Earth is what we are meant to do and eat. : )

  15. hey john love your videos and i'm 12 yeas old and i garden by myself ,when my parents go to the grocery store and check in the produce section that really gets me mad .

  16. Hey John, I tried to go to to get that information to possibly try to set something like it up in St. Louis,MO but there isn't a link to that manual there.

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