Grow Education “Faces of Food” in New Bedford: Adam Davenport
For almost 7 years, the Grow Education program has grown to lead the classroom/curriculum and community development of a Farm to School project in New Bedford Public Schools. Working with a cross-sector team to build the capacity of New Bedford’s Public schools in both infrastructure and human capacity to serve fresh, healthy, local, culturally relevant and delicious meals to up to 14,000 students per day. This includes the development of school’s food and health cultures to both contribute to and benefit from these changes.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find lots of inspiration in nature. If I’m in a focused place there is always a lesson and pattern to learn from, whether it be from plants, birds, trees, or the relationships that exist between them. Often our human and social issues can discourage me, so I turn to a hike or run at the beach to reconnect and regain a healthy perspective!
What are you grateful for this year?
In a year that had so many opportunities for negativity, I am grateful and encouraged by the way our communities have come together. With every issue, from the pandemic to racial injustices, new people and communities have come together to listen and learn from each other. I’m hopeful that this connection continues past the acute issues into the upcoming years.
What culture’s cuisine and cooking traditions interest you most?
One ethnic food that I LOVE is Ethiopian / Eritrean food. Whenever I head to one of our local city’s my head is on a swivel for a restaurant. I think what I really love about it is a mix of the flavors and the experience of eating Ethiopian. If you haven’t been, most restaurants offer you a regular table or a more traditional family style set up on a big circular platter. The best part is the Injera bread, made with the grain teff. Not only is it delicious, but it makes a great utensil!
If you could grow an endless supply of something, what would it be?
If I could grow an endless supply of something, it would be mangoes. There is nothing better than a fresh, sweet and sour mango!
What do you wish you learned about food when you were in 3rd grade?
It might not be surprising, but I wish I learned about farming and growing plants. I was not introduced to that until college, but took off from there with interest in the connections to the beautiful practices that grow healthy and delicious foods!
What’s something you’ve learned about food that you found interesting or useful?
One of the more interesting things to me is the connection between gut health and your overall physical and mental health and vitality. Eating fresh, whole foods is about much more than the absorption of vitamins and minerals, it’s about feeding the microorganisms that live in our digestive tract, that in turn keep our hormones and immune systems in balance!