Recent research has shown that approximately 6,000 children living in Forsyth County leave school each unsure of where their next meal will come from. In our society, we have become disconnected from the origins of our food. This narrative, that we call the Story of the Plate, is no longer about growing our own healthy crops, but is instead about driving to the store to purchase food grown hundreds of miles away from our own community. When we do this, it becomes all too easy to forget about those who experience food insecurity and live just down the street from us.
Reconnecting to the soil.
At Crossnore, we want to write a new story of the plate by regaining our lost connection to agriculture. Since the soil nurtures the crops we grow, it is the fundamental building block of our own health. We have established the Miracle Grounds Network on the farm at our Winston-Salem campus. This network will create a new experiential process connecting soil and food with community health.
Creating a community network.
As we think about the children and families we serve, we know that learning to understand adversity enables us to replace adverse experiences with healthy habits. As the mind, soul, and body begin to heal, we build resilience, and out of resilience grows hope for the future. Miracle Grounds Farm is now the anchor farm for the Miracle Grounds Network. At the farm, we are reconnecting to the soil by creating a network of community gardens, local restaurants, and other community organizations to compost food waste. Nearly 50% of America’s food supply is simply thrown away. We can divert this food waste from the landfill into our compost project. This compost is then used to enrich or soil, grow health foods, and address food insecurity in our community.
Educational programming and work opportunities.
Miracle Grounds Network also utilizes an educational curriculum to teach children on our campus and in the community about growing healthy foods. These children will gain hands-on experience in prepping the soil, planting and harvesting, and preparing healthy meals. Additionally, we will grow sunflowers and harvest the seeds. Oil pressed from the seeds, combined with waste oil from our partner restaurants, is then used to make biofuels to energize our city.
Finally, the Miracle Grounds Network offers a program of regenerative entrepreneurship for young adults in our Youth in Transition program. These young adults will enter a soil to food culinary program and partner restaurants will offer internships and jobs when their training is completed. These restaurants will be trauma-informed workplaces offering hope for each young adult’s future.
The Miracle Grounds Network reconnects us with the soil, creates food security, and brings health and wellness to our souls. Together we are building a healthy community. Truly goodness does grow here.
For more information about the Miracle Grounds Network, please contact Eric Mathis, Miracle Grounds Network Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.