Good Read: The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser
Good Deed: Sharing garden veggies with the community

This family Action Book Club, based in Missouri, chose a service project close to home. In fact, it’s in their backyard! They share the bounty of their summer garden with the people in their neighborhood.

“We planted extra tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers in our garden because none of our neighbors have gardens, and we love the hard work and sharing healthy produce,” says mom Naomi C. “Some of the people used to garden but they are getting older and aren’t physically able. One couple shared garden tools with us and let us use some of their land and we wanted to pass it on.

“It also helped us be better neighbors because we then made the time to go deliver and meet them, and some of their pets. Our dog has a puppy friend now too, so that is fun.”

The family club loved reading The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, which was a very appropriate book for their project. “[It] was a reread for a couple of us,” said Naomi. “Those books are always good!”

Through their service project, the group learned that kindness doesn’t need translation.

“There is one family that speaks a different language than us, and all you have to do is hold up [the vegetables] and smile and offer it their way, or set it on their porch,” Naomi said.

“We just kind of re-learned something we already knew. Food speaks many languages—or all languages, I guess you could say.”

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