Brookline children rolled up their sleeves, picked up pitchforks, and went to work. On October 24th, 2012, as part of national Food Day, the Brookline Recreation Department took its after-school program to the community gardens at Larz Anderson to learn about composting. Not only did the children learn about the different stages of making compost, but also they were able to participate in the production process itself. This was one of many events held in Brookline to celebrate Food Day 2012.
“It’s Time to Eat Real” was the message the Brookline Department of Public Health sent out for Food Day, focusing on education about eating local, healthy, and sustainable food. At Town Hall, children from the nearby Pierce School and St. Mary’s School, Brookline residents, and other visitors sampled cider from Brookline’s Allandale Farm, which the farm also offered for sale along with several varieties of apples. Climate Action Brookline (CAB) was on hand to demonstrate how what we eat affects our carbon footprint while Bountiful Brookline offered advice on planting an urban garden. Barbara Hebert, a Brookline resident and certified Health Coach reviewed what belongs on a Healthy Eating plate, using the guide developed by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Across the parking lot, 7th and 8th graders from St. Mary’s learned how to start a garden by assisting with Fall planting at the Health Department employees’ garden. Later that day at the Brookline Main Library, Sue Levy, Brookline parent and owner of Savory Living, offered “Secrets of the Vegetable Mom.” Attendees learned easy ways to crowd nutrient rich foods into their kids’ meals as well as how to avoid common food traps. Other events included a talk by Dr. Judy Mabel at the Brookline Senior Center “Healthy Food for Boomers and Seniors” and vegetarian chili featured at the Brookline public schools.
Every October 24th, our nation celebrates Food Day. Not only does Food Day aim to promote healthy and sustainable food consumption, but also to “address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agriculture policy, animal welfare, and farm worker justice.”
Lynne Karsten is the Director of Community Health at the Brookline Department of Public Health