Hello everyone! My name is Taylor and I am the new Missouri Healthy Foods AmeriCorps member serving with Schoolyard Gardens here at KCCG. I started volunteering with Schoolyard Gardens a few months ago and I enjoyed my time with kids in the garden so much that when this position popped up, I had to jump on it! My first week here has been spent planting fall gardens full of vegetables like kale, broccoli, radishes, rainbow carrots and cabbage at schools across Kansas City and it’s been a blast!
I am so excited to be involved in Schoolyard Gardens because I am incredibly passionate about food and the positive impact healthy food can have in our lives. I think that if we want to make real, sustainable change in the way we eat, it has to start with educating kids. If we can foster a real passion and excitement for healthy food in children, this is what will lead to long-term positive change in our health as well as food systems. This is where the change happens!
I think school gardens are the perfect gateway to get kids excited about healthy food. Learning where food comes from, planting the seeds themselves and being able to watch it grow in front of their eyes and take ownership over it is incredibly empowering for kids (and adults). It’s such an awesome way to get kids engaged in healthy foods and trying new things. I am so excited to get to do this work everyday!
As a chef, I also can’t wait to incorporate my cooking skills in the classroom. After graduating from the University of Chicago, I spent a year doing a Fulbright Scholarship in Malaysia teaching English and then decided to start pursuing my dream of becoming a chef! Since then I’ve cooked at restaurants across Kansas City including Nara and Julep, as well as started my own food blog and YouTube channel called Two Shakes of Happy. I post all kinds of healthy recipes and videos of how to cook them, so check it out if you’re looking for some new healthy recipe ideas!
Along with cooking, I also love to play basketball! I was an All-American basketball player at University of Chicago, but since I graduated, I’ve picked up Ultimate Frisbee, which is how I spend most of my time in the summer these days. I play on the Kansas City women’s competitive club ultimate team called Wicked! You can see one of our highlight videos HERE!
I can’t wait to be a part of the Schoolyard Gardens team and help continue their awesome work!