April is National Garden Month! What better way to celebrate than to feature the outstanding work of our colleagues?
Dr. Rosemary Rodibaugh, Professor of Nutrition at the University of Arkansas, is part of the 6 state HOPE2 Project, which was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and completed in 2012. In addition to The OrganWise Guys materials that were given to elementary schools in Arkansas through this grant, Dr. Rodibaugh and county Family and Consumer Science (FCS) staff are teaching nutrition education via elementary school gardens. In February, the success of their school gardens was shared at the 2013 Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Networks and other Implementing Agencies (ASNNA) Conference.
The program that was used, Eating From the Garden, was originally created by University of Missouri Extension. It consists of 13 nutrition education lessons with recipes and games. Students get hands-on experience working in their school’s garden, which is further applied via food demos and taste-testings of the fruits and vegetables. Currently, three counties in Arkansas are using this fun program with the assistance of University of Arkansas Extension FCS and Ag Agents. After evaluating the program, it was found that 94% of students liked growing the healthy fruits and veggies and 80% now like a vegetable that they had not tasted before! Additionally, the evaluation shows that these messages are being shared with parents.
Check out some pictures of the impressive garden that was created through this great program!
Below– FCS Agent, Leigh Ann Bullington, preparing samples from the garden