Monday, April 15, 2024

Williamsburg Local’s ‘Vinny Veggie Seed’ Teaches Joys of Growing Food and Community

Vince Zangardi holding his newly published book Vinny Veggie Seed (Photo provided by Vince Zangardi)

WILLIAMSBURG — Inspired by his passion for gardening, a Williamsburg writer is introducing children to “Vinny Veggie Seed.”

Written by Vince Zangardi and illustrated by Maria Kuchynskaya, the new children’s book was published on July 24.

“Vinny Veggie Seed” is about a young boy who loves to grow vegetables in his garden. When he realizes that his neighbors and neighborhood need help, he sets out to plant seeds in every place he can find. Gardens begin to grow, as does the sense of community in the neighborhood.

“It’s kind of loosely alluding to Johnny Apple Seed, hence the name,” Zangardi commented on his work. “Anyone who knows my wife and I know that we have a couple of large gardens and we teach classes and help people grow their own food. So it’s something that’s close to my heart, to begin with.”

Zangardi and his wife currently have two large gardens and have hosted the Master Gardeners for some classes. He also teaches classes at the Williamsburg Community Garden.

“The book has a really nice amount of a kind of social relevance but is framed in a way that a child would be able to understand it. So I just felt it was a really pertinent message given a lot of the division and other things that we as a society are dealing with right now,” Zangardi added.

Zangardi wanted to create a story that was both uplifting and positive to let people know that with a little hard work and care, positivity could groe.

The book is currently published on Amazon, but Zangardi hopes eventually have the book in retail stores. He also plans on donating copies of the story to the two local libraries and holding a book signing event at Alewerks Brewing Company later in August.

“[The book signing] is actually going to be in tandem with an educator, and we’re going to be donating a portion of the proceeds of sales of the book to helping the educator with classroom funds for the upcoming school year,” Zangardi explained.

He’s hoping to reserve community spots to do story times as well.

“One of the things that really makes this book special is the amazing artist, Maria Kuchynskaya, who helped make my terrible sketches into beautiful artwork,” Zangardi said about the illustrator.

He storyboarded the book but all of the art and illustrations of completed by Kuchynskaya. He hopes that all readers, kids or adults, can appreciate her talent.

For more information about Zangardi, his wife, and their garden, check out their Facebook page.

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