Nurture healthy eating habits by growing your own garden

I read an article in the Detroit Free Press recently about a new three-part health and fitness program launched by Gov. Rick Snyder.  As many of you may recall, the Governor hosted an obesity summit in Lansing last September. This newest effort tackles childhood obesity before babies even start to walk and talk.

With two-thirds of Michigan adults and 12.4 percent of youth at an unhealthy weight, Snyder is putting together a full-court press to reduce the obesity rates.  Programs like this are important for the overall health of communities across the country.

The types of food we eat are a big part of the obesity equation.  The urban agriculture movement, especially in Detroit, is helping link people to fresh, locally-grown produce.  It also gives people in underserved communities the opportunity to financially benefit from the foods they produce by selling at local farm markets.

When my kids were young, the best way to get them to eat green beans, tomatoes and carrots was by sending them to the neighbor’s garden to pick some produce.  They loved finding the ripe veggies, picking them from the vines or pulling them up from the ground…it was like a treasure hunt!

The Greening of Detroit coordinates a collaborative called The Garden Resource Program that supports more than 1,400 community, family and school gardens with the necessary resources and tools to begin a healthier lifestyle in their own backyards. Members of GRP are also able to bring their produce to sell at the Grown in Detroit booth at their neighborhood farmers’ markets or Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Providing people with access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a major first step in changing the way we eat.  Communing with the earth and growing your own garden is a gratifying, healthy experience.

Where do you get your fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer season? Are you buying local or growing your own?

Photo credit The Greening of Detroit

Trish Hubbell is the marketing director for The Greening of Detroit.  

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