Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Page Gets One Right


Congratulations to George Ball, Chairman of Burpee, for his op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, which argues that vegetable gardens are an answer to childhood obesity. 

Absolutely right!  Vegetable gardens have the power to change children's diets by making vegetables fascinating

My experience with the Lake Avenue Elementary School Garden Club suggests that even better than having the parents garden is letting the kids plant, harvest, and cook the vegetables themselves.

When kids are this involved, they will eat even the most unfamiliar greens eagerly.


  1. So true, I just harvested all my winter carrots and my niece came out and helped, she was thrilled at each and every carrot she pulled from the ground and said, “You must call me when you plant this spring so I can come help.” She ate a few carrots when we came inside and loved them.

  2. All kids are unique. Even as a kid, I loved gardening. My little brother, well, he felt differently. The main appeal in gardening for him was throwing rotten tomatoes at me and pulling carrots when I told him not to. To this day he is a strictly meat and potatoes guy while I eat just about anything. I appreciate how vegetable gardening may help some but it will not cause every child to “eat even the most unfamiliar greens eagerly”.

  3. Gardening may not convert every child to a veggie-lover, but many kids have not been exposed to vegetables beyond the most common stuff found in grocery store freezer & canned goods aisles. Or – horror of horrors – found on a MacDonald’s menu. Honestly, it’s nearly impossible to get those convenience foods to match the taste of homegrown (or school-grown) and fresh-picked produce.

    My experience with our school garden has been that if you give kids the chance to grow the veggies, pick, wash & eat them – they will ! One of my proudest moments as garden coordinator was when kids in the aftercare program ignored the afternoon cookie snack, & instead walked around the schoolyard munching on radishes and carrots they’d just pulled from the ground !

  4. So what happens to the garden over the summer. Just as the hot weather vegetables get revved up no one is there to care for or witness them. Leaving out these guys is missing a huge part of vegiedom.

  5. Agree with George Ball, but more with Antigonum. Vegetable gardens are perhaps three percent the answer to childhood obesity; parents being good parents, ninety-seven percent. Actually more like one-hundred percent the answer, as doing vegetable gardening with your kids would be good parenting … along with limiting TV and video games, cooking decent meals, kicking the kids outside to play.


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