Gardening is two parts labor and one part magic. It's the magic part that kids find so alluring (well, maybe playing in dirt also has a role in it). The process of growing stuff cultivates patience, knowledge, and a deeper appreciation for this big ol' ball of soil that we walk around on every day. When children are able to participate in gardening programs -- like the Dallas treasure, Promise of Peace Garden, they learn those values, but more importantly, they have fun doing it.
Promise of Peace, or P.O.P., was formed by Elizabeth Dry to unite children from all neighborhoods and economic strata and teach them gardening principles, hands on. The children attend free camps to learn how to grow seasonal food but can also take low-cost classes on how to prepare all of those delicious veggies into healthy dishes. By taking kids out of their daily cliques and uniting them in a gardening forum, the young farmers are put on equal peer footing. Neighborhoods and clothing brands don't matter at P.O.P., all that does are the fundamentals: that earthworms continue to aerate the soil and that everyone has dirt under their fingernails.
Non-profit programs like this one can't rely on water alone to grow; occasionally they need a little economic fertilizer as well, and that's where next Sunday's fundraiser comes into play. Sundown, the Granada's new restaurant, is hosting a Farm to Table Brunch and Silent Auction in order to kick the project a little seed money for the upcoming growing season. Everyone's getting involved: local chefs Rolo Cantu, Marc Cassel, Billy Cooper, Suzanne Fries and Sundown's own Chef Patrick Stark are taking control of menu creation and preparation (you're getting five courses, so show up hungry) with produce donated by Greenlings.
The silent auction is yard-celebratory with gift certificates for Citizen Gardener classes, sculptures by Terri Stone, a luxury stay at Hotel Palomar and a coupon towards a landscape re-design (go with natives!). It's events like this -- cobbled together by local businesses and individuals, supporting programs like P.O.P. that truly build a sense of community here in Dallas; be a part of it and grab a ticket. A seat at the five-course brunch will run you $60, and it caps out at 50 people, so act fast. And while you're at it, start planning your tomato strategy for this year; it's nearly that time.
Click here to buy yourself a spot at the community table.
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