Cultivate a Change, Let’s Get Growing


Stacy Walters


 Editor’s Note: This week, I’ve invited guest blogger Stacy Walters (@fittogarden) to discuss gardening and childhood wellness in light of the new Let’s Move initiative. Walters’ complete bio follows the post. Enjoy and feel welcome to add your comments!


It’s official; a staggering one out of three children in America is identified as obese or overweight.  For the first time in American history, children may be facing a shorter lifespan expectancy than their parents.   Our nation’s culture of convenience has plagued the adult population with unhealthy habits, and is now infecting our children. The Rx? Nutrient-dense fresh food + exercise and outdoor recreation = medicine.  Let’s figure out how to get there.

The first obstacle is nutrient deficiencies. 

Families are busy, kids are overscheduled, and parents are constantly on the go.   There is no time to plan meals, scurry to the grocery store, and prepare fresh food.  Eating is just another item on the checklist. It is more convenient to hit the drive-through or reach for readily available processed foods.  Urban communities often face an even bigger challenge due to a rise in food deserts.  Grocery stores cannot survive in urban neighborhoods.  Backyard vegetable gardening has vanished and our children cannot even identify common fruits and vegetables. Continue reading “Cultivate a Change, Let’s Get Growing”

Cultivate a Change, Let’s Get Growing

Mrs. Obama v. Food Deserts

I respect the way Mrs. Obama is including rural America in the “food deserts” discussion, because food insecurity is a real and pressing problem out here just as in the inner cities.

I’d also like to hold up the lens of history and share with you the map on this page (you’ll have to scroll down). The red spots indicate places (gardens and gardeners) mentioned in Charles Lathrop Pack’s 1919 book, The War Garden Victorious. Pack, you may recall, spearheaded war gardening during WWI and helped re-brand it as “victory gardening” after the war ended. One of the reasons he wanted to do so was to encourage people to provide for themselves through urban, suburban and rural gardens to fight food scarcity even in peace time.

Now take a look at the map of local food sources on’s site.

Do you see a similar “hole” in the two maps? What do you make of the modern Western “food desert”? Is it solely the byproduct of a challenging climate? Is it a population issue? Continue reading “Mrs. Obama v. Food Deserts”

Mrs. Obama v. Food Deserts