Empowering Children to Grow Their Own Food with the Nourishmat

The Norishmat


The Nourishmat, a 4′ by 6′ edible garden, offers a simple but clever solution to bring nourishing food to suburbs and inner-cities. The Nourishmat not only brings plots of land to those in need, but the organization is also speaking at schools to give children the knowledge to grow their own edible mat while educating them about farming so they have a better understanding of where their food comes from.


When I was growing up in LeDroit Park in Washington, D.C., the Gage School across the street was boarded up and the only fruit or vegetable from the corner store was a hot pickled pepper. The Safeway had turned into a postal center and neighborhoods hadn’t been coined “food deserts” yet.

Fast forward a few years later to 2011, when I found myself sleeping in Dale Johnson’s sustainable farm management class at the University of Maryland. I awoke to someone screaming “Victory.” And he wasn’t talking about a battle of bullets, but how victory gardens could solve epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other nutrition-related illnesses.

Until 2011, I thought about my future working for the latest and greatest software company. But a sharp realization occurred to me””having a six-figure salary meant nothing if I couldn’t buy healthy food. Eavesdropping on classmate John Gorby’s conversation about plants and fuel in our Calculus II class is what got two driven students from Agricultural Economic and Environmental Science backgrounds connected to solve a real-world problem about food production. “…Continue Reading


Niki De Witt headshot 150x150 A Fruitful Tradeoff: Compost for Fresh Produce CreditsABOUT THE CURATOR

Niki is currently exploring Asia while working on a children’s book series about travel. As a child, she traveled and moved often for her parents’ jobs. As a result of this, she has always felt most at home when she’s off and away. She is interested in international films, working on building an impressive tea collection, and can often be found with her camera in hand. You can have a look-see at her blog and follow her on Twitter @nikidding.

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