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Slow Food Desert Cities Helps Build Vegetable Gardens in Public Schools

Initiated in Rome in 1986, the Slow Food movement was formalized in 1989 when the founding Manifesto of the International Slow Food Movement was signed in Paris by delegates from 15 countries. Today there are more than 100,000 members in 132 countries who are focused on traditional and sustainable foods, healthy families, food politics, saving endangered foods, and in-school projects.

There are 200 chapters in the U.S., and the local Desert Cities Chapter was formed in 2007. The chapter’s monthly meetings, which are often potluck suppers featuring produce from the local Certified Farmers Markets, often feature speakers or cooking demonstrations.

Members and nonmembers are equally welcome at the monthly meetings, which have a fee of $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The proceeds, along with those from the annual Farm to Table fundraising celebration, are used to help create vegetable gardens in Coachella Valley schools. To date, the chapter supports gardens at Agua Caliente Elementary in Cathedral City and Palm Springs High School. By planning, implementing and maintaining the school gardens, kids not only learn how to grow edibles, but exercise their math and reading skills and strengthen their community bonds.

To learn more about Slow Food Desert Cities and sign up for email announcements, visit

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