Sunday, June 13, 2010

New WINTER BEACH CARROT CAKE recipe honors Joel Bray

Paradise Greetings,

Yesterday was the first birthday party that Growing Healthy Kids conducted with Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program. Youth Guidance throws a birthday party every 3 months for the kids they serve who have had a birthday during that quarter. It was also the first (mostly indoor) program I've done since our monthly programs began in September 2009. To make the day special, I created a gluten-free mini-carrot cake recipe using some very special carrots. Here's the carrot story...

The carrots were grown by Joel Bray, a man on a mission to create food security in Indian River County, Florida. Joel farms 2-1/2 acres of land by himself and gives away the food. I first heard about Joel last year from my friend, Angi, who is on the Growing Healthy Kids board of directors. Angi talked with Joel and he donated the dirt used in the very first teaching gardens built at the Boys and Girls Club. About 2 months ago I helped prepare food from Joel's garden for a lunch at his place so we could show a handful of community leaders what one man is doing to grow food and feed people. That day, Joel told us, "Find me land and I will clear it and grow food to give away. I will teach others how to grow food." This week, someone donated 10 acres to Joel and he has already begun clearing it. Last week I had a dinner for more community leaders so we can get more land into food production. On Wednesday I received the news that we have received a small grant for a large teaching garden at the Dasie Hope Center in Wabasso. Joel will be helping us there so we can feed many and teach many. This week we eliminated the barrier for moving forward with a one acre garden at the elementary school (where we launched the Salad Party Revolution) with the county's second highest rate of kids receiving free and reduced lunches (87.73% of all the school's kids) through the generosity of one man who is now part of our vision to grow food security. That is how we will be able to get kids out of the McDonald's cycle of obesity.

Joel is amazing. This one man is growing all this food and giving it away. While so many people are focused on "food insecurities", this man is creating food security. Be the change you want to see. We will grow healthy foods so people can eat healthy foods. Carrots grown by Joel Bray in Winter Beach, a small community between Vero Beach and Sebastian, were the inspiration for the recipe I created to honor children who had a birthday. Joel's carrots - and all the other veggies he grows so well - are Growing Healthy Kids - and families. Thank you, Joel.

A copy of the "WINTER BEACH CARROT CAKE" recipe will be included with each Growing Healthy Kids chef apron (includes superpowers). Go to before July 31.
Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of America's children, one garden and one child at a time.

To your perfect health,

Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids