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Bee Great Garden Takes Off!

  • By Vanessa Merhib
  • 21 Aug, 2017

 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:

- Kayla Wede, Healthy Lifestyles Lead Youth Development Specialist 

serving Brookings, Moody County & Yankton
1126 Southland Lane
Brookings, SD 57006  
(605) 692-3333
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