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Dig Into 'The Soil in Jackie's Garden' with Feeding Minds Press

Chad Smith

Associate News Service Editor, NAFB

photo credit: AFBF photo by Bailey Corwine

Young readers, gardeners, and educators all have a new agricultural adventure to dig into. Chad Smith has more about the latest book from the Foundation for Agriculture’s Feeding Minds Press.

Smith: The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s publishing arm, Feeding Minds Press, has released its newest children’s book. “The Soil In Jackie’s Garden” is a picture book by nonfiction children’s author Peggy Thomas.
Thomas: It's a cumulative story that celebrates all the critters in the soil that help this little girl, Jackie, and her garden grow. When it's time to harvest, Jackie and her friends become part of the soil cycle and the plant's life cycle by putting all their scraps back in the compost pile to make more healthy soil.
Smith: She says the inspiration for the new book came from her own love of nature and how food is grown.
Thomas: I've always loved soil, and I've always thought that kids should be more connected to nature and the outdoors, and I always wished that kids enjoyed digging in the ground like I did. But it really didn't start to come together until I came up with the idea of using that structure of 'The House That Jack Built,’ because suddenly, I realized that's the perfect vehicle to show that everything really does begin and end with good, healthy soil.
Smith: Thomas says she hopes the book will inspire kids to get outside and dig in.
Thomas: I hope that kids will just decide to explore some more, find out what's underneath the ground. Pick up a worm. Don't be squeamish. Maybe convince their parents to start a compost pile in the backyard and realize that there's so much more out there that's so fascinating, and hopefully, maybe start their own garden.
Smith: “The Soil in Jackie’s Garden” is available now at feedingmindspress.com. Chad Smith, Washington.