The MISSION of the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, Moody County & Yankton is to inspire enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Growing your own food is more popular now
than ever before. It is estimated than 1 in 3 American households are growing a
portion of the food that they consume. Earlier this spring the club received a
$1,000 One Step Garden Grant from Hy-Vee. With that grant the club has been
able to implement a gardening club program with the help of parent volunteers
and an SDSU horticulturist. We also had some of the Brookings Area Master
Gardeners come and teach us lessons about herbs, and soil. We were able to grow
a variety of vegetables such as kale, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cabbage,
broccoli, onions, and pollinator flowers.
Throughout this summer our 1-5th
grade club members and teens have had lessons on nutrition, physical activity,
bugs, culinary arts, and the importance of watering and pulling weeds. With the
food that we have grown we have been able to bring the kids into the kitchen to
teach them different ways to prepare the food that they have grown such as
strawberry jam, kale chips, veggie pizza, and zucchini muffins. We have also
taken field trips to Sanderson’s Garden, SDSU Local Foods Program & Student
Garden, and Good Roots Farm & Garden where the kids were able to get even
more hands on experience planting, harvesting, and tasting new foods.
Having a balanced diet and eating a
variety of healthy foods is crucial to the body and brain development in
children, but as most adults know it isn’t always the easiest to get kids to
eat their fruits and veggies. When kids grow their own food they feel a sense
of pride and accomplishment for the food that they have “created” and grown
themselves, so they are more willing to try it. You might be thinking to
yourself that your child still wouldn’t try it, but I can almost guarantee you
they will be more willing to try it. I was amazed when I had kids eating kale,
broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers raw from the garden. They couldn’t
get enough of it!
If you are thinking of starting a garden
for you or your family here are some great resources to get you started: