Sow, Grow, Savor was launched by Sarah Platt in February 2020 with the mission to promote the long-term health and well-being of the people in Madison through gardening and cooking exploration. This program is funded in part by a UConn IDEA Grant and generous sponsors.
In line with the growing movement for multigenerational programming, "Sow, Grow, Savor" aims to support identity formation and prosocial behavior among Madison youth, as well as increased generatively and improved mental health and physical performance in older adults. The program will fill the need for intergenerational play and creative learning, bridging different generations through multi-sensory activities.
About the Founder
Sarah is a premedical student at the University of Connecticut with a passion for gardening and cooking. She is a graduate of The Country School and Choate Rosemary Hall and is the recipient of a UConn IDEA Grant.
“My idea to found an intergenerational program came to me through a series of reflections upon my experiences interacting with the older and younger generations in Madison. During my freshman fall at UConn, I watched a documentary film that presented solutions to global environmental and social issues through small-scale initiatives. The film inspired me to think of ways in which I could strengthen the long-term sustainability of my hometown. I considered the positive impact volunteering at the Madison Senior Center had on me, and I thought about how the mentoring I had given to younger students in my community had helped them achieve their goals. I also thought about how I could leverage Madison’s demonstrated interest in gardening and cooking to connect people of different ages.
When my grandmother passed away in February 2019, I sifted through all of my memories with her. She had been an avid gardener and cook herself—she taught me how to poach an egg and how to transform a small apartment porch into a beautiful garden space. I was becoming increasingly aware of generational isolation in Madison, and upon my grandmother’s death, I channeled my grief into an idea: to found an intergenerational program that would promote social cohesion and community health.
My interest in organic gardening took root when I volunteered on organic farms in France through the World Wide Organization of Organic Farms in 2018. Helping my host families to cook with the ripest produce we’d harvested that day, I grew a deeper appreciation for farm-to-table meals.
What draws me most to cooking is the tangible, meaningful expression that can be shared with others. An exquisite meal is a piece of art that doesn’t go to waste. Instead, it sustains everyone involved in its creation and consumption, from the growers of the produce, to the chefs, to the people enjoying it.
I love the process of cooking, layering in each spice and indulging in the ever-evolving fragrances the food is producing. Though I encounter many challenges in the kitchen—forgetting ingredients, overcooking, undercooking, you name it—at the end of the meal, I clink my glass with family and friends and laugh it off.
For the past few summers, Sarah has maintained an organic garden at Bauer Park community farm.
This summer she will be maintaining a garden at The Country School where she is experimenting and documenting her experiences in The Edible Experiment page.
I am fascinated by the social determinants of health and see my Idea Grant project as an opportunity to gain a first-hand perspective on the benefits of intergenerational relationships in childhood development and aging. I am also interested in incorporating nutrition education into my daily practice as a physician, specifically serving populations with limited access to healthy foods and green spaces.
meet our new cookbook team members!
Seema is a pre-med student majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies.
Her interest in gardening stemmed from spending her childhood in India, accompanying her grandfather on their family farm. Her favorite thing to cook is tandoori cauliflower because it is a simple yet delicious recipe. Besides endlessly scrolling for "easy 30 minute recipes" on YouTube, she enjoys growing her own vegetables and has recently started cooking Indian recipes passed down from her grandmother. Her favorite vegetables to grow include cucumbers, okra, and peppers. From her work with Sow, Grow, Savor, she hopes to continue fostering intergenerational bonds within the community as this mission resonates with her childhood experiences living with her grandparents. In addition, she hopes to address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, through our various program initiatives.
UConn Fine Arts Student / Illustrator
UConn Dietetics Student / Recipe Developer
UConn Biology Student / Cookbook Fundraiser
Fine Artists / Events Leader
Recipe Developer / Garden Maintenance