Knowing about growing is Elaine Cooper’s passion.  The self-styled “Grandma Greenthumb” has made it her mission to educate children about how things grow, where their food comes from, and how easy it is to grow things themselves.

Cooper is originally from the Eastern Townships in Québec.  She was a back-to-the land, self-sufficient farmer in the 1970s, and is a health coach, and holistic chef.  Today, the Gatineau resident takes her Get Up and Grow program and its message to “ages three to 103” in schools, community organizations, and retirement communities.  She demonstrates how easy it is to grow plants simply using water through hydroponics.  Every participant gets a seed and instructions to take home and grow themselves using whatever kind of space they have.

“I bring the fun of growing, preparing, and eating good food to kids,” said Cooper.

Grandma Greenthumb recently brought her message to the Agri-zibit display at the Vankleek Hill Fair.  Cooper said teachers from area schools expressed interest in having her visit their classrooms to share with students.

“There’s a need for it because it’s not taught in schools,” said Cooper.

Instead of soil to absorb moisture, Cooper uses chunks of rockwool, the dense, natural insulation made from volcanic material that is commonly branded as ROXUL.

Elaine Cooper has also written a children’s book titled Get Up and Grow.  It sells for $15.00.   To contact her regarding the book or to invite her to come and speak to your organization, go to