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healthy kids


C THE JOY OF DIRT Bartering is Good for Your Business The Barter Business Exchange, Inc. (BBE) is a network of business


owners who help each other prosper by trading products and services. BARTERING CAN HELP YOU:


• Find new customers • Reduce your cash expenditures


• Expand your advertising and marketing


• Enhance employee benefits


• Convert excess inventory • Reduce your accounts receivable • Increase market share • Improve your bottom line • Build your business


BBE will refer new customers to your company. They pay for your products and services with barter dollars you can use with any other participating


businesses in the barter network. BBE acts as a referral service and as your banker. BBE keeps a record of all sales and purchases for you and provides a monthly statement. It is as easy as having a second checking account. Call or go online today to learn more.


1125 Kildaire Farm Road, Suite 207, Cary, NC 27511 Barter Business Exchange, Inc.


919-469-5538 • www.ncbarter.com 36 NA Triangle www.natriangle.com


hildren benefi t from a close con- nection with nature, and there’s no better place to learn about plants


and soil than a garden. Families don’t need lots of space, as even a small collection of potted plants holds fascination for young- sters. T e fi rst step is to understand a garden as seen by a child that may be more interested in creative play than in making things grow. Whitney Cohen, education director


Gardening Connects Kids to Nature by Barbara Pleasant


at Life Lab, a nonprofi t that promotes garden-based education in Santa Cruz, California, thinks kids benefi t most from what she calls “dirt time”—spent outdoors interacting with plants, animals, soil and everything else. “When a child plants a seed, tends it over time and ultimately pulls a carrot out of the soil and eats it, they begin to know down in their bones that food comes from plants; that healthy food is delicious; and that we are part of a vast and beautiful web of life,” Cohen says. T is learning process may not match a


parent’s idea of a lovely garden. “Children don’t make neat rows. T ey water leaves and fl ower petals rather than the roots. T ey accidentally step on young seedlings. Gardening with children is messy and chaotic, but there is always learning going on beneath the surface, just out of sight,” says Catherine Koons-Hubbard, nature preschool director at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Growing nutritious vegetables like cherry tomatoes allows kids to see, touch and possibly smash a food as they get to know it, increasing the likelihood that they will eventually eat it.


Incorporate Play Spaces


“Children might rather be playing than following instructions,” Koons-Hubbard counsels, but it’s easy to incorporate space for free play in the garden. Depending on a child’s imagination and which toys are used, a spot of diggable soil in the shade might morph into a dinosaur refuge, pony farm or secret place for fairies. Kids are also attracted to stepping


stones, which encourage hopping, stretch- ing and even counting. Don’t be surprised if kids turn some of them into a stage or a place to stack rocks or leaves.


Melle V/Shutterstock.com


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