When Kelly Swan Reindel and her husband, P.J., moved their family back to Wheeling last year, she struggled to find local resources on natural parenting. The mom of three eventually formed friendships and gathered the information she needed, but she wants to make it easier on like-minded families in the future.
So she has organized a group called Wheeling Mountain Sprouts that will have its first meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18 at Edgwood Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1154 National Road. The first topic will be local food. The meeting place conveniently is located across the street from the Wheeling Farmers' Market, which will be set up until noon in the St. Michael Angelus Center parking lot.
"I'm excited about it," Reindel said. The group is modeled on one her friend formed in Morgantown, and that group was based on the chapter concept of the Holistic Moms Network, a national nonprofit organization that connects parents interested in holistic health and green living.
Holistic parenting, as defined by the Holistic Moms Network website, "begins with an understanding and respect for how all living things are connected and how we impact one another. As such, holistic parenting embraces green and non-toxic living, non-violent communication and natural health."
For the first Mountain Sprouts meeting, Reindel's brother, Danny Swan, a local organizer of the community garden movement, will provide a basket of locally grown produce and fresh eggs as a door prize. Amy Dodd, a representative for Isidore Foods, will have information about organic and local food delivery options. Information about natural cleaning products also will be available.
Future topics include but aren't limited to cloth diapering, holistic health care, gardening, natural childbirth, baby wearing, gentle discipline, bread baking, homeschooling and breastfeeding.
Reindel said so far she has received a good response from local parents, mostly moms. She created a closed Facebook group, Wheeling Mountain Sprouts, that as of Friday had 35 members. (To join, search that page on www.facebook.com and request to be added.)
Her hope is that the group will offer information and education as well as support. She envisions setting up a database of resources, such as names of pediatricians, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, local farmers, local cloth-diaper resources and more.
"It's not like I have this wealth of information I want to share. I want to bring everyone together. ... Everyone in the group kind of knows something (about natural parenting), so we will get together and share ideas," Reindel said.
For information, e-mail Reindel at firstname.lastname@example.org.