Samadhi was interviewed by the Maintland-Winter Park Observer newspaper for her involvement in Swipe 4 Kids.

OJA Swipe Feb 2014The Winter Park – Maitland Observer Newspaper came out to interview me, Brad Jones (left/back) of the Edible Schoolyard at Orlando Junior Academy (OJA) and Jason Bingham (left/front) of Swipe 4 the Kids last week.

InJoy recently started processing credit card payments through Swipe 4 the Kids. This is a merchant services company that gives up to 40% of it’s gross revenue back to charities in the local community. I am thrilled to be working with the Orlando Junior Academy (OJA) because of their Edible Schoolyard program. Children at this school have a learning garden where they plant rows of carrots, English peas, cabbage, beets, kale, lettuce, spinach and chard. They take their harvest into the learning kitchen where local business owners such as Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant & Wine Bar and Emily Sarah Rankin (pictured here) of Local Roots come in and teach the children how to prepare meals with fresh vegetables.

Emily Sarah Rankin OJA

This program is inspiring to me for many reasons.

The children are learning within a hands-on environment that it takes 3 or 4 months for many vegetables to grow. Because they are involved in this process from seed to harvest there is a relationship being cultivated with the food they are growing, learning about and eating.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause of this relationship the kids are getting their families to eat more vegetables. One of the children ate green beans for the first time at the school’s kitchen. He liked them so much that he insisted his parents buy green beans the next time they were at the grocery store. Now, I don’t know about you, but most of the kids who I talk with about nutrition aren’t interested in vegetables at all. The children at OJA are learning how delicious fresh vegetables taste and how to prepare them into healthy meals. They are taking home their inspiration and then influencing their parents to eat healthier.

I frequently talk with adults who don’t eat vegetables or don’t know how to cook. Part of my mission is to inspire and educate about the value of fresh food, especially vegetables. Oftentimes health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes develop because of eating too much of the wrong foods. These and other nutrition imbalances can many times be corrected through proper eating.

This educational garden appeals to me because the children are learning at a young age how to grow food, how to take care of a garden and developing a sense of responsibility and involvement in their nutrition and health.

I love gardening and fresh food!

purple carrot favorite2I was so excited to see cotton plants at the Edible Schoolyard and asked Brad why they were growing it. He explained that as the children study history they learn about the role of cotton and slavery in the past. I had never seen or touched a cotton plant before and he showed me how difficult it was to pull the cotton seeds from the little tufts of cotton. It took me several minutes to get a few seeds out of one small tuft. Slaves had to do this over and over until the cotton gin was invented, which revolutionized this process around the early 1800s. The other great application of this is the children learn that the cotton gets spun into thread and that the clothes they are wearing are made from this very same material.

Swipe 4 the Kids is a wonderful program for business owners, like me, who want to give back to our local community. If you would like more information about Swipe 4 the Kids contact Jason Bingham at 407-234-4243 and www.Swipe4theKids.com to get involved today. In addition to the Edible Schoolyard, there are many local charities that you can participate in. If you’d like more information about the Edible Schoolyard at the Orlando Junior Academy you can find them at (407) 894-6213  www.discoveroja.com/‎

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InJoy has only just begun partnering with Swipe 4 the Kids and the Orlando Junior Academy. Each time you swipe your credit card at InJoy Healthcare a portion of the credit card transaction fee is going to help the Edible Schoolyard. The schoolyard is planning a community garden with an adult education teaching kitchen across the street from the school. Stay tuned for updates!

You can read the original article here.

If you’d like more health tips, check out Samadhi’s book, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Healthy You.

 

 

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