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Community Gardens • Community gardens are collaborative projects on shared open spaces where participants share in the maintenance and products of the garden, including healthful and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. • Gardens may offer physical and mental health benefits by providing opportunities to • Eat healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. • Engage in physical activity, skill building, and creating green space. • Beautify vacant lots. • Revitalize communities in industrial areas. • Revive and beautify public parks. • Create green rooftops. • Decrease violence in some neighborhoods, and improve social well-being through strengthening social connections.
Benefits of Community Gardens • Takes us back to our roots, the basic values involved in growing and raising our own food. • Addresses obesity-prevention through enhancing access to healthy food. • Provides summer employment for our youth. • Provide healthier food choices for our families. • Addresses how the food source affects both nutrition levels and the local economy.
Other Benefits of Community Gardens • According to the kidsgardening.org: • Michelle Obama believed in gardening as a tool to engage children in a healthier lifestyle. • First Lady enthusiastically embrace the process of planting and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. • Kids gardening represent a tremendous opportunity for children to understand and explore the natural world,
SDRHA Community Gardens Huddleston SITE SDRHA Site
About our Gardens… Naturally (Organic) grown with the exception of minimum fertilizer used ONLY with the corn No additives Irrigated twice a week
SDRHA SITE Summer youth employees maintain weekly
SDRHA Site What’s Grown Watermelons Crowder Peas Okra Corn Cabbage Squash Sweet Potatoes Cucumbers Butter Beans
Huddleston Site Watermelons Crowder Peas Okra Corn Cabbage Squash Sweet Potatoes Cucumbers Butter Bean
Health benefits of Gardens • Benefit: • Consumption of plant foods can protect against heart disease. A plant-based diet can help keep cholesterol numbers in range or lower cholesterol levels that may already be on the rise. Plant foods do not contain cholesterol, even if they contain fat, and therefore are an important part of a heart-healthy diet. When building a plant-based diet, focus on whole fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, legumes and soy. These plant foods not only provide a good source of fiber but contain essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. • Source: www.livestrong.com
Organic Food and Obesity • Statistics: • In 2009, the county prevalence of obesity ranged from 30.5% to 44.2%. • Counties with the highest prevalence of obesity were in the Delta region and along the Mississippi River. The obesity prevalence increased from 2007 through 2009. Age, sex, race, education, and employment status were associated with obesity. • Source: www.cdc.gov • FACTS: • What is not so commonly known is that organic food can actually help relieve obesity as part of your weight loss regime. • Eating organic food also means you will be giving your body a greater quantity of essential nutrients, especially if you steam your vegetablesArticle Source: http://EzineArticles.com/286618
South Delta Charities and Community Gardening • Margaret Hollins, SDRHA Food Bank Coordinator • Distributes community garden foods to the local community. • Food is distributed in six counties of the MS Delta.
Reuben Woods, gardener Responsible for maintaining the gardens Supervision of the summer youth Provides education to the youth What a Melon, Reuben… good job!
South Delta Regional Housing Authority Thanks you for the opportunity to share with you. Ann Jefferson, Executive Director 202 Weston Avenue Leland, MS 662-686-2018 ajjefferson.@sdrha.org