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  1. The best way to educate families is to make it very clear how a garden-to-table lifestyle will benefit them most. For starters are the savings: savings to the family budget by way of reduced spending on produce at the grocery store by growing some veggies in their garden; and savings on energy consumption and transportations costs to bring that produce to the store and to drive to the store and buy the produce, resulting in savings on the carbon footprint.

    Then there are the gains, which include more nutritious and flavorful fruits and vegetables with higher levels of healthy antioxidants and nutrients because they are picked fresh and eaten fresh without traveling 1,000 miles or more to get to the supermarket. And by reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals and by relying instead on nature's bounty to grow a sustainable garden by attracting beneficial insects, bug-eating birds, and composting garden and kitchen scrapes to feed the soil microorganisms--which in turn feed the plants--you are creating a healthier environment, food source and lifestyle for you and your family.

    Gardening and cooking as a family also increases physical activity (and thereby maximizes physical health), instills an appreciation for nature and the outdoors, cultivates new interests and skills, creates family bonding and makes memories to last a lifetime. Plus kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables when they play a part in growing it themselves. And if all this isn't enough to convince any family to carve out even a small part of the yard or patio to grow a few veggies, there's the added attraction of reducing stress and building self-esteem.

    If you don't have a garden, a great way to start building interest in the whole garden-to-table experience is to visit a local community garden, and then take the kids and get them familiar with "real food" by shopping at your local farmers' market and talking with some of the farmers.

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