Here’s a common question: What’s for dinner?Here’s an uncommon question: What’s in dinner? How many times have you asked that? This question is what Girl Scout Troop #42470 set out to answer.Special thanks to Emma W., a 10th grader from Bellingham, who wrote the following essay about her troop's experience with the Sow What? Journey. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Emma!
We started the Sow What? Girl Scout Journey in October of 2010 to learn more about the
Earth (and food!) and to help us achieve our impending Girl Scout Gold Awards.
The first thing we did was examine our food footprint. This is a fancy way of saying that we looked at where our food comes from and how long it takes to get here. We learned that our food comes from everywhere, and that corn was in everything!
Well, not everything, but close!
We decided to make fried rice to help us learn how to compare prices and to use local products. Everyone went to different stores to price out what we needed for the dish, then we split up who would buy what. Everyone brought one or two ingredients to a meeting so we could cook the dish. The fried rice was yummy!
Then we visited a local business -- a cupcake shop -- to ask them about their food footprint. They explained to us how some of their ingredients were local, but some weren’t. Then we were able to tour the shop and decorate cupcakes. It was very cool learning about what goes into running a local business.
Next, we learned about different women who have made an impact with food. We talked about Siv Lie, who believed everyone should have the right to good food. We also discussed Rachel Carson, and her research tying DDT to the death of birds. In that meeting we also listened to music that used food in their lyrics.
Learning about food and gardening made us want to start a garden of our own, so we went to a local, organic farm called Hopewell Farms. They are an organic dairy farm that also grows berries and vegetables. We talked to two of the women who owned it about farming and food. They gave us some plant starts to jump start our own garden!
Afterwards, we visited our community food bank for a tour. They told us about how they send groups of volunteers to local farms to thin out the vegetables and bring them back to the food bank. It was all so interesting! We asked them if we could donate the produce from our garden, and the people at the food bank said they would be pleased to get the food we were planning to grow.
Our next project was planning how to grow the garden. We had to ask ourselves questions like, where would it be located? Who would take care of it and when? We decided to have the garden at our meeting place, which was also the home of one of our leaders. It was getting close to summer, so we determined that we would work on the garden all summer long. We’d take turns weeding and watering and log our hours.
What was our first challenge in planting our garden? The area we had available to plant was half grass! We definitely had our work cut out for us! One hot, Sunday afternoon, everyone started tilling the Earth, picking out rocks, weeding, picking out more rocks and turning over the dirt. Then we planted the starts Hopewell Farms had given us.
Once our garden was planted, the whole troop took turns coming to weed and water. We grew so many beans! We also produced carrots, pumpkins, broccoli, squash and radishes.
All through the summer, we donated our vegetables to the local food bank. They were happy to get them!
After we finished our harvest garden -- and our Girl Scout Journey --we organized a big potluck with all of our families to share in a meal and to celebrate our completion of the Sow What? Journey. The whole experience was definitely something that taught us a great deal about the Earth and ourselves!
-Emma W., Troop #42470