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Database Provider


Shoutout LA


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Health

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, USA - Midwest, California, Illinois, Ohio

Meet Ken Sparks | Farmer & Owner of The Farmer Ken

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Shoutout LA

  • This is an article about Ken Sparks, a gardening enthusiast, farmer, and educator in Los Angeles who has helped people in LA (California), Cleveland (Ohio), and Chicago (Illinois).
  • This interview details his introduction to gardening as a child; his experiences learning about agriculture and environmental science through a program in college called Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences; and his business selling fresh produce and herbs through his company, The Farmer Ken.
Teaching Tips


  • This is a nice example of someone following their passion and making a living doing what they love.
  • It highlights the need for more community gardens, local food, and support for fresh and healthy food options in underserved communities.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It might be helpful for students to learn about food deserts, which are areas that lack healthy food options and grocery stores.


  • Social studies and biology classes could discuss the connections or correlations between a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables and levels of health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease in various communities.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with economics and civics classes by discussing payments and subsidies in the Farm Bill that could be redirected to smaller-scale farmers that produce healthy food for people.
  • Other similar resources are this Garden Lesson Plan and How to Analyze Sustainability Problems: Food Deserts.
Scientist Notes

This resource captures the concept of garden education in fighting climate change. It can motivate students to engage more in gardening activities at schools, communities, and parks. This is recommended for teaching.

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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