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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Note: This essay was written for an Olive Garden 50-250 word contest to the theme: How would you help to fight hunger in your community for anyone in grades 1-12 with winners for each grade level. I really believe should be the third grade winner for three very obvious reasons: 1) It is well written and to the point; 2) The bright young writer makes her Papa very happy and proud--and I know that first hand; 3) Today is her first double-digit birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIO! 

by Rio, 3rd grade

In 2012, I was living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cars passed our house regularly and the only animals around were squirrels. Eating dinner one night, my six-year-old brother asked innocently, “Wouldn’t it be gross if meat actually came from cows?”  Since then, I’ve moved from a place of not understanding where meat comes from to Middletown, Maryland where I live on a 21 acre farm with ten chickens, two guinea hens, and a dog.
As my farm grows and changes, I grow and change. I’ve learned about the ways of nature and food. When a visiting dog killed my favorite chicken, Phoebe, I learned to appreciate nature when you have it, then let it go when it’s gone. As we fill my mom’s office with seedlings and chicks, I’ve learned how life begins so small, then ends up as a blooming accomplishment.
 I want everyone to know about food and nature as I do. To create this knowledge I will have groups of children come to my farm to plant their own meals, and work with the animals on the farm. I will ask other farmers in my community to help. I hope this experience will inspire people to waste less food because they know someone worked hard to make it, or because an animal suffered for its production. When children learn that meat comes from cows, and noodles from wheat, they learn about nutrition. With better nutrition, less waste, and new knowledge to create food, we will reduce hunger.

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