2011: The Year of the Vegetable says Chairman of Burpee Seeds
Doylestown PA’s W. Atlee Burpee was just eighteen, when he started his own mail order business in 1872. By 1888, he had transformed the family home “Fordhook Farms” into his own experimental agricultural station where he grew and tested new varieties of flowers and vegetables before offering them for sale in his catalog. When W Burpee died in 1910, his was the largest seed company in the world.
Children can learn to enjoy healthier foods if they grow them with their parents. It’s easier than you think.
By George Ball
Opinion – Wall Street Journal
Jan. 3, 2011
Mr. Ball is chairman of the W. Atlee Burpee Co. and past president of the American Horticultural Society.
In our research at Atlee Burpee, we have found that kids who grow vegetables alongside their parents eat them regularly and with gusto. Peas, green beans and raw carrots—the very vegetables that kids are told to eat, their parents’ admonishing fingers wagging—are particular favorites.
While not all American families have the benefit of a sun-filled backyard for a vegetable garden, companies like Burpee offer many vegetable seeds and plants that you can grow easily in containers. You can grow beets, carrots, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, which can be plucked from the stalk well into winter.
Eighteen years ago, as president of the American Horticultural Society, I initiated a children’s gardening program. Our annual symposium drew thousands of educators and community gardeners with the goal of educating and inspiring children to grow gardens in their school and neighborhoods. The results were heartening: Thousands of churches, schools and community centers sprouted new gardens.