Starting a Gardening and Cooking Revolution

 Rainey and Johnetta West cooking together during a Sprout Scouts class

Rainey and Johnetta West cooking together during a Sprout Scouts class

“Brussel Sprouts!” That was Rainey West’s emphatic answer to her favorite food.  It’s also proof that our urban agriculture education team is starting a cooking and gardening revolution right here in Raleigh and Durham.

The West family is well versed in Food Shuttle agricultural programming. The Mom, Johnetta West, has taken Seed to Supper with both of her daughters. Daughter Rainey is just about to graduate from our Sprout Scouts Cooking and Gardening Club and last year took our Blooming Botany elective at Hunter Elementary.

These free courses are designed to teach basic gardening skills and empower participants to cook with vegetables and fruits that they might not normally choose…and to do it on a budget.

“This class is important for a family wanting to focus on fresh food and money,” says Johnetta. “Not spending all of your budget at the grocery store but being able to go to the garden and pick it yourself is a great thing.”

“Rainey and all of us can now taste the difference between fresh foods and canned. She wants to be a chef and that’s her goal. I’m just trying to continue to push that inspiration.”

Rainey has started her own microgreens garden at home and sounds like at age 10 she might not be far off from opening her own restaurant, as she now does most of the family’s cooking at home.

“I learned when different vegetables grow, when to eat them and how to grate them,” says Rainey. “My favorite thing was learning new recipes, especially the lettuce wrap with grated purple cabbage, carrots, hummus and Brussels sprouts.”

Change often starts with our youngest generation. If we can get more children talking, eating and cooking like Rainey West, we really are in for a food revolution!

If you are interested in signing yourself or your child up for gardening education, email Ayn@FoodShuttle.org for more details. Sprout Scouts is based on curriculum provided by FoodCorps. Learn more here.

 Rainey and Johnetta West

Rainey and Johnetta West