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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Nikki McClure

Follow the life of an apple throughout the year, demonstrating the cyclical patterns in nature.

How to Cook the Perfect Day is filled with beautiful images and simple recipes with headnotes that dreamily document a perfect day–including a picnic rendezvous, an afternoon tea, and a midnight snack. The book opens with the suggestion of a morning forage in the great outdoors instead of in the kitchen pantry for whatever readers can find to nibble on. A recipe for peaches and waffles follows; it’s a breakfast treat McClure’s husband makes for the family often. Recipes for a lovely gingerbread cake, a curry potluck, and a celestial apple pie are all accompanied by Nikki McClure’s elegant artwork.

In the last, chilly days of winter, a young boy longs for summer. His mother points out all of the signs of the changing season: buds swelling on trees, ducklings on the pond, seeds sprouting in the garden…. and they celebrate together when summer finally arrives by eating ripe, red, strawberries.

On market day everyone in town gathers to buy fresh produce, baked goods, and cheese. Good for students of all ages, this book introduces each item at the market in simple terms, then goes into more detail about how it is produced.