Part II: Meet Gabi! Volunteering at the Rooftop Garden in San Juan, PR

When we first created our new bilingual ¡Números, Baby!, we knew that beyond sharing the book through public fora, free author events, and donations, we also wanted to find additional meaningful ways to give back to the communities that inspired each page.

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Through collaboration with World Central Kitchen (WCK), a trail-blazing nonprofit food assistance organization founded by DC-based chef and humanitarian José Andrés, we’ve been able to just that: Baby Ventures™ proudly donates a portion of all sales of ¡Números, Baby! to WCK’s disaster response in Latin America and beyond.

Thanks to WCK, we were also able to participate in a rewarding volunteer opportunity during our visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico this past May: Through WCK’s innovative Plow to Plate Program, we spent the day gardening at the Rooftop Garden, an urban farm and micro-greenery recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Gabi, the welcoming owner of the Rooftop Garden, greeted us early in the morning as we set out to assist him in his daily work on the farm. Located in the heart of San Juan, Gabi’s beautiful patch of land is home to organic micro-greens, a dazzling array of edible flowers, and an impressive compost operation that enriches his produce while reducing his waste.

 

 

Gabi’s micro-greens and edible flowers are a hit at the local farmer’s markets. His singular passion for the soil (and soul) of his island is infused in every stunning package of greens and edible flowers he creates. Despite substantial damage to his farm and operations from Hurricane Maria, Gabi and his colleagues have diligently set out to rebuild – literally one seed at a time – and they’re making incredible progress.

 

 

For Lisa and I, the experience of mixing the soil, planting seeds for Gabi’s next harvest, and hearing about the farm’s steady return to its former glory was both incredibly moving and humbling. We’re not sure how much help we were to Gabi, but without question, he was a tremendous source of inspiration for us. Not to mention, we’ll forever savor the farm-to-fork salad Gabi prepared for us! We can’t thank you enough for hosting us, Gabi, and we can’t wait to visit the Rooftop Garden again soon!

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In the wake of Hurricane Maria, many have sought to assist Puerto Rico’s communities in a meaningful way. As the locals told us, visiting Puerto Rico is a great place to start. We couldn’t agree more. And when you do, please consider volunteering at farms like Gabi’s through WCK’s Plow to Plate Program. Can’t make the trip in person? No problem – please support this innovative program through your generous donation instead.

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We are forever grateful to both WCK and Gabi for hosting us at the Rooftop Garden. ¡Muchas gracias por esta increíble oportunidad!

Sinceramente,

Golzar y Lisa

 

Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part II

¡Números, Baby! – our upcoming release introducing little ones to numbers in Spanish is vividly inspired by the authors’ own travels to Latin America and Spain. In the second part of this two-part blog post, co-author Golzar Kheiltash shares her travel adventure that brought a distinct flavor to Baby Ventures’™ newest board book!

PART II: Co-author Golzar Kheiltash gets a taste of Spain

Before my family immigrated to California from Iran in the 80’s, I had already lived on two continents, across 6 cities. I was bilingual – in Persian and English – and felt the singular childhood excitement that comes from hearing different languages, seeing smiling new faces, and exploring vibrant new locales across the globe.

Continue reading Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part II

Spice It Up for Baby!

Happy National Herbs and Spices Day! At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of inspiring little ones to explore the world around them, and that includes diverse tastes and flavors from their first solid foods!  Herbs and spices are the perfect addition to baby purees and toddler meals – not only do they add nutrition and flavor, but they also pave the way for healthy and adventurous eaters later on.

Natural flavors have long been used in cuisines worldwide. Cumin, dill weed, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron – to name a (very) few – have a host of health benefits, and delight taste buds young and old in dishes ranging from curries to savory meats and stews. In fact, much of the distinct tastes we love in Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern foods stem from the unique combinations of herbs and spices found in each of these regions’ delectable culinary concoctions. These days crafting all-natural and flavorful baby food is on the rise, thanks to resources like the Baby and Toddler Cookbook, the Little Foodie Club, and WellnessMama.com. Continue reading Spice It Up for Baby!

Bite Into Adventure, Baby!

At Baby Ventures, we love to inspire adventure in little ones, and meal time is no exception!

We’re big fans of nurturing hearty taste buds and healthy eating habits early on by cooking meals infused with spices, superfoods, and savory delights from cuisines around the globe.

So if saffron-spiced oatmeal, potato kuku with bright veggies, or cinnamon lamb puree sounds like your kind of “baby food,” then dig into our blog for upcoming posts with recipes, tips, and pics! Bite into adventure and bon appetit, baby!

 Have some delectable recipes of your own? Send them to us to feature on our blog!