State Appropriations Funding | Nutrition & Health
Kentucky | Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service | Southern Region
Laurel County Extension and Master Gardeners Developed a Children's Garden to Teach Science and Change Eating Patterns.
Children in Kentucky have a high and encreasing obesity rate and lack the knowledge of agriculture and food production. Thhis led to Master volunteers designing and implementing a children's garden progam.
Extension staff conducted a Try-A-Thon to challenge youth to taste fruits and vegetables and encourage healthy eating habits. Students were encouraged to "go for the gold" by sampling all the recipes offered by Master Gardeners
Twenty elementary students and twenty four preschool students participated in educational activities conducted by Masster gardener volunteers. Programs ranged from identifying parts of seed to vermiculture or worm composting. The students planted corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, various herbs and flowers as well as spending time watering, weeding and looking for insects during each visit. Vegetables harvested from the garden were sent home with the children along with healthy recipes on how to prepare what they had grown. Despite a monstly unanimous dislike of vegetables, they enjoyed learning to grow and harvest the garden during the ten week program. To encourage the children to taste the fresh vegetables, the Master Gardeners teamed wup with the Family and Consumer Science Extension Staff and hosted an event they called the "Try-A-Thon"/ Recipes were prepared including salsa, corn cakes, watermelon tomato salsa, and squash casserole. Students who tried the recipes could earn medals and each were challenged to go for the gole. The medal ceremony was a great success with 19 students receiving gold medals, 5 receiving silver and 4 bronze.
When you support Extension, youth participate in hands-on garden activities that result in healthy eating patterns and physical activity.