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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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celebrations

Auntie Mabel and her family and friends have gathered for their big Sunday dinner and can’t wait to dig into a delicious, mouthwatering meal. Before they can begin, Auntie Mabel starts—and doesn’t stop—blessing everyone and everything! Author and illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton’s delectable celebration of food and family is a joyous appreciation of how traditions and rituals bring us, and keep us, together.

Lailah is in a new school in a new country, thousands of miles from her old home, and missing her old friends. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she doesn’t join them in the lunchroom. Lailah solves her problem with help from the school librarian and her teacher and in doing so learns that she can make new friends who respect her beliefs. 

One Ramadan evening, a knock at the door, brings a new guest, with one meal more. You’re invited to join a multicultural iftar meal celebrating the Muslim month of Ramadan, with iconic food from around the world. 

Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah means “we are grateful”). Author Traci Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, invites readers to journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. “As the crops mature and the sun scorches, we say otsaliheliga … as we sink our teeth into the season’s first harvest at the Green Corn Ceremony.”