Posts Tagged: gardening
The cross-pollination of gardening with nutrition is helping UC educators get a message out to youth about healthy eating, according to an article that was published in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
UC Master Gardener Diane King is visiting all first-grade classrooms at Romoland Elementary School to talk about food.
"You are so lucky to be living in California. Do you know why?" King asked the children. "Because California grows so many different types of fruits for the whole country. In California, we can buy fresh fruit all year round."
The program, Eating Healthy from Farm to Fork, is part of the UC Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program and offered in collaboration with Riverside County Master Gardeners to teach children about local foods and agriculture. The curriculum connects farms and school gardens to healthy eating, said Chutima Ganthavorn, the nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for Riverside County. "For example, the vegetable lesson talks about the edible plant parts. The Master Gardeners brought a handout about beneficial insects vs. pests and talked about growing vegetables not only in the school garden but on a larger scale," Ganthavorn said. Romoland Elementary Principal Troy Cox applauded the program, saying he couldn't be happier with what it does for students.
The program, Eating Healthy from Farm to Fork, is part of the UC Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program and offered in collaboration with Riverside County Master Gardeners to teach children about local foods and agriculture. The curriculum connects farms and school gardens to healthy eating, said Chutima Ganthavorn, the nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for Riverside County.
"For example, the vegetable lesson talks about the edible plant parts. The Master Gardeners brought a handout about beneficial insects vs. pests and talked about growing vegetables not only in the school garden but on a larger scale," Ganthavorn said.
Romoland Elementary Principal Troy Cox applauded the program, saying he couldn't be happier with what it does for students.
Diane King speaks to students at Romoland Elementary School.
Urban Farming magazine gave its readers a "whirlwind introduction" to a few Los Angeles residents and programs that are working to bring back a modicum of the metropolis' agricultural past. The first vignette in "Urban Farm Road Trip, Los Angeles" featured Yvonne Savio and the UC Cooperative Extension Common Ground Program she coordinates.
Most counties in the country have a Cooperative Extension service that dispenses agricultural, horticultural and nutritional information, the article said. But the program in Los Angeles County is unique. Common Ground trains Master Gardeners to teach low-income individuals and families how to grow their own food, wrote Erik Knutzen.
"We give people the tools to change their lives -- beautification, culture, emotional, physical and psychological health -- all the good stuff comes through gardening," Savio was quoted in the story.
Because of the tough economic times, LA County Cooperative Extension has launched the "Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative," which encourages citizens to adopt the last century's wartime tradition of growing food to help ease the burden on the nation's food production and distribution infrastructure.
The Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative helps new gardeners start their own gardens quickly and easily in a container, in the backyard or at a community garden.
A Los Angeles Times reporter zeroed in on remarks made by the director of UC Cooperative Extension in Ventura County, Rose Hayden-Smith, at a conference marking the opening of a new urban garden in San Marino.
Hayden-Smith, a history expert, was quoted in the second paragraph of the story and her name was mentioned five times as a source of historical information about growing food in urban spaces.
It's a present-day craze, but Hayden-Smith said it is not new.
- Ancient Romans tended rooftop gardens
- Early Americans grew food in Boston Common
- Vacant urban areas have been used as gardens for more than a century
"We're just going back and claiming our heritage," Hayden-Smith was quoted.
She encourages the resurrection of the U.S. "Victory Garden" movement to alleviate social problems like food insecurity and obesity. Recently, she said, military leaders expressed concern about the future of the armed services in light of potential recruits' weight issues.
"Let's have the Pentagon pop some bucks for school lunch," she said to enthusiastic applause, according to LA Times reporter Mary McVean.Philadelphia Inquirer resurrected the term "homesteading," defining it for the 21st century as a trend toward keeping bees and raising chickens, gardening and canning.
UC Cooperative Extension county director Rose Hayden-Smith told reporter Virginia A. Smith that the creation of an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn signifies the movement's arrival in the popular consciousness.
"People in national leadership are talking about these issues," Smith was quoted in the story. "I think this is going to be a very enduring feature of American cultural life."Indicators cited in the article of the "homesteading" trend:
- Up to 200,000 hobbyists keep bees in the United States, compared with 75,000 in the mid-1990s (Bee Culture magazine)
- About 100 new members a day sign up for www.backyardchickens.com, which has 55,000 members in all
- 43 million American households planted vegetable gardens in 2009, a jump of 19 percent over 2008, which was 10 percent higher than 2007 (National Gardening Association)
The new Modesto garden will attract native pollinators, such as this sweat bee. (Photo: K. Garvey)
Freelance journalist and Los Angeles Times blogger Jeff Spurrier is in Los Angeles County's Master Gardener class of 2010. In a post he wrote on Tuesday, centered on a new initiative sponsored by the Master Gardener program, Spurrier promised to share what he learns as he goes through the training himself.
Spurrier wrote about LA County's “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative," slated for March and April 2010. A UCCE news release said the initiative will help people start their own gardens quickly and easily in a container, in the backyard or at a community garden, bringing together local families and neighborhoods to share their experiences, skills and produce. Master Gardener volunteers will organize and lead Victory Garden Circles, and teach the basics of gardening.A leader of one garden circle, Master Gardener Justin McInteer, was featured and pictured in the LA Times blog. McInteer will be running his class in a small Sunset Boulevard backyard.
“This is a drastically scaled down but still functional version of what you learn in the master gardening class," McInteer was quoted. "It’s information for the individual growing his own garden, taking advantage of the space they already have.”
LA County residents can find a class location and more details on the Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative Web site.
Vintage World War I Victory Garden poster.