Stacey and her daughter Hayley started volunteering for E.A.T. South's Good Food Day program last Spring and play an integral role to the program's success. This month, they share the ins and outs of volunteering for Good Food Days!
E.A.T. South: Tell me a little about yourselves--why are you in Montgomery, etc
Turner Women: Hayley and I have been in Montgomery for just a year now. Our family is currently stationed at Maxwell AFB after spending seven years overseas with the military, the last two living in Turkey. We enjoyed our overseas adventures and especially loved Turkey with all of its wonderful fresh vegetarian food and friendly people. Hayley is a homeschool student and currently starting her junior year of high school. She is passionate about the environment and loves teaching children to explore the outdoors. I love that Hayley and I get to spend time together while volunteering at E.A.T. South and enjoy seeing her lead groups of children. My four other children also like to visit the farm to feed the chickens and see what is growing during each season.
ES: How did you get involved with E.A.T. South
TW: We love to eat organic and local whereever we live and explored the Montgomery area looking for opportunities to volunteer after we moved here. We were thrilled to find such a beautiful urban farm that also used its facility to teach children. Volunteering to be Good Day Facilitators seemed a natural step to help share our love of organic food with the local community and also to help us learn more about sustainable farming.
ES: What do you like about being a Good Food Day Facilitator?
TW: The kids are the central part of what we love. Their enthusiasm to be outside and to learn about plants and animals is contagious. I love watch them when we tell them they can pick up a handful of dirt to smell or ask them to taste a fresh herb, they are hesitant for a second, and then jump right in experiencing all the best E.A.T South has to offer. I also enjoy seeing the adult chaperones come away with new information they had not know before, now ready to share with others.
ES: Any fun anecdotes from a field trip?
TW: My best memory is from a kindergarten class I had when I first started leading Good Food Days. While asking the class what five things plants need to grow, one young boy shared that plants needed love. Of course they need love! It was not on my list, however, it was a great reminder that plants do need our care and attention if they are to grow and flourish. I now state my question a bit different and, of course, added love in my lesson plan. One of Hayley's favorite parts is watching the kids help their teacher pull out a carrot. The carrots at E.A.T. South can get quite large, and the excited response from the kids when they see what emerges from under the dirt is fun to watch.
ES: For people who don't know what Good Food Day is, what would you like them to know about it?
TW: Good Food Day is amazing! You can see the excitement of the kids as soon as they get off their buses. Having the kids spend a morning exploring all aspects of an organic farm from composting to chickens to plants can be life changing. Seeing how food is grown and eating it right from the plants puts in place a link that they will carry through a lifetime.
ES: Anything else you want to share?
TW: It is an honor to work with Beth Anne, Caylor and all the other volunteers and staff. The dedication they have to making E.A.T. South successful in so many different ways has been amazing to watch. Montgomery is lucky to have such a gem right in its backyard and we look forward to seeing many more families and students come and explore the farm!
Interested in becoming a Good Food Day volunteer? E-mail Beth Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org!