Tucked away in a remote part of Alaska where the days are short and filled with snow, Mrs. F of Emmonak School wants her third grade class to have the opportunity to grow fresh vegetables to give to their Yupik Eskimo grandparents. Her students intend to grow peas, tomatoes, and beans to learn about gardening while providing the elders of their community with much needed nutrients.
In Yupik Eskimo society, grandparents are treated with the utmost respect by everyone. Instead of placing the elderly in special homes, many families enable their grandparents to sustain a high quality of life by helping them continue to live in their own homes. Unfortunately, many Yupik Eskimo elders cannot afford to purchase essentials such as fresh vegetables because they are rare and costly. Mrs. F’s students are eager to take a larger role in helping their families support their grandparents by growing and bringing them the fresh produce they need!
Mrs. F has requested fluorescent grow lights, soil, plant trays, stands, and books to create an indoor garden. “As vegetables are grown and given, so will our hearts grow and give.” She explained, “We will learn not only how plants produce things to eat, but how caring for our elderly makes us better community members.”
Take a look at Mrs. F’s project Feeding Our Elders!