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Friday, June 16, 2017

Anywhere Farm, by Phyllis Root with illustrations by G. Brian Karas. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $23.00 ages 4 and up

"Plant a farm in a truck!
In a box or a bike!
Plant an anywhere farm
anywhere that you like.

Anywhere that you have
some soil, some seed,
some sunshine and water.
(That's all you need.)"

Huzzah! Today is the day! It's the first market of the season for our independent gardeners, Stephanie and Teri. I placed my order earlier this week. Now, I get to pick up  all of the deliciousness. I have only a small inkling of how much work has gone into growing, harvesting and cleaning their produce to be ready for purchase today. How grateful we are for their dedication and knowledge!

More and more families are appreciating the benefits of the farm to table movement, and some are growing ever more interested in setting up their own little gardens - 'anywhere farms'. In this poetic homage to growing your own, it is evident that it doesn't take much to get started - soil, and sunshine, some water, a seed. That's it? Well, you will need some space.

The city kids who people this book's pages find that even a small space will do just fine!

"An old empty lot
     makes a good growing plot.
          But a pan or a bucket,
               a pot or a shoe,
                   a bin or a tin
                       or a window will do."

Indeed they will. Kids will be intrigued to see the many ways they can plant and grow for their own consumption. What can be grown is almost unlimited. The benefits to birds and insects is immeasurable. The best part - sharing your produce and your knowledge. What is more satisfying than making the world a better place? With careful preparation, leadership and persistence, a community garden might just sprout up where you least expect it!  

Joyful and empowering, entertaining and educational, this is a celebration of what can be done when we put our minds and hearts into improving our community. Brian Karas creates a setting full of life and hope, where anything might happen.

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