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GrowHappy® established its roots, quite literally, on the front lawn of the Canadian Family Health Collective in the form of a food forest. Our aim is to teach the ways in which nutrition, fitness and relaxation each play an integral role in growing healthy food for happy brains. GrowHappy® Day is our portable version of that program.

In 2015 we began visiting local schools to build gardens and play our signature game of Mood Tag, because Moods are Contagious. More importantly, we build skills and self-awareness to manage moods before they spread. GrowHappy® Day wraps with students planting their seedlings in pots to take home, or smack dab on the front lawn of their school.

Not surprisingly, our program grew. We began to problem-solve the challenges we are facing not just as a nation, but as a global community. Never before has climate change been such a hot topic. (Pun in poor taste.) Never before has mental health known such alarming statistics. Childhood diabetes and obesity are commonplace. Childhood mental illness is commonplace. We are more connected and distracted than at any time in history, and sitting is the new smoking. It’s time for change.

We realized driving across Canada in a Grow-Happy-Mobile was perhaps a little silly. So many schools, so little time. But we did find a way to spread the word. Let’s discuss…

Gardens can be grown nearly anywhere. Nature is funny that way. You can follow our permaculture plans that transform lawns without digging and conserve rainwater with mulch. Or you can upcycle an old boot or a coffee can. It really does not have to be complicated. Let’s just grow some food.

If you need to generate your garden budget, we’ve got a Smidge Fundraiser that can raise funds and mental health awareness while sidestepping fragile funding. But we have also compiled some ways in which to keep costs affordable while connecting with the people in your own neighbourhood. Your garden doesn’t need to be epic and expensive to be valuable.

It is free to register for the 2020 GrowHappy® Garden Challenge. We will send you digital resources (saving trees and fossil fuels) and have you well prepared each step of the process. Our team of volunteers are here for telephone support by calling 888-928-8360. One way or another, you’ve got this.

One last little thought to ponder… When we get to feeling overwhelmed by those global challenges we face, we remind ourselves that happy people care about their environment. Consuming the right building blocks for happy brain chemistry is the place to begin. Happy people care about their bodies and tend to them with loving kindness. Happy people care about the people around them and look for opportunities to be of service to one another. Happy people are aware that change is necessary, and that our planet needs our love too. To our way of thinking, the 2020 GrowHappy® Garden Challenge is about a whole lot more than just lettuce.