According to a study by the University of Florida, gardening as a child could lead to better health habits later in life. In particular, a crucial time in that child's life where the food options won't always be the healthiest-- college.
The "Get Fruved," project which stands for "Get Your Fruits and Vegetables" is a collaborative project between eight American universities which found that college students who gardened as a child were more likely to eat more fruits and veggies as an adult.
Approximately 1,351 students were surveyed and asked to compare their fruit and veggie intake to whether or not they had gardened as a child. The students who had gardened as children consumed 15 percent more fruits and veggies then those who hadn't. The study also found that just simply being around a family who gardens was not enough, but actually getting your hands in the soil and doing the work, according to the study.
Locally, there are several options available to families who are interested in getting more involved with gardening. MOSAIC Community Land Trust is the community gardens of Pottstown and is always open to new members. It even has a garden at a local elementary school that is open to the community as well! Families can plant and grow food together, helping children develop healthy habits from the start. MOSAIC also partners with the Foundation and the Boroughs of Pottstown and Boyertown to bring a Home Garden Contest to the community which features several different categories including one especially for children.
Stay tuned for details on the 2017 contest and get a jump start on planning your garden for the spring!
Students learning how to plant a garden at MOSAIC's community garden
at Elizabeth B. Barth Elementary School in Pottstown, Pa.
Image courtesy of MOSAIC Community Land Trust.