Shreveport-Bossier, LA (KMSS) — Lettuce, Chinese cabbage, and turnips are only some of the vegetables you can find in the many community gardens of Shreveport-Bossier.
At such a ripe age of just 9 years, Xayla and JJ are already learning how to grow their own food.
JJ tells said, “it's really fun to plant new things that you've never planted or seen before” and Xayla added, “If we don't have healthy things, we can come down here and get them from the garden.”
These kids are only two of many who benefit from the program hosted by the LSU Agriculture department.
The program teaches both kids and adults how to grow their own produce and eat them.
Grace Peterson is the leader of the program. She said the the kids learn how to work with greens from seed to plate, “they learn how to plant the vegetables. They learn how to harvest, and then we take it up and teach them how to grow the vegetables they've grown.”
Peterson also teaches volunteers that planting and eating fresh food is a lot healthier than just buying from a store.
“The average distance that food travels is about 1,500 miles from where it's grown to the grocery store, and along the way it can lose a lot of nutrients.”
Those who live in apartments or simply don't have a yard can opt for growing crops in their community garden or even planting in flower pots, if they really want to grow their own produce.
There are many kinds of greens and produce that can grow even without a garden. LSU Ag is hosting Greens on Red--an educational program at the highlands community garden happening this Sunday.
Rena Jameson thinks growing your own greens is a great idea, “especially if you have the means to do it, you should.”
Gardeners in Shreveport-Bossier say their gardening hobby lets them get good exercise, improves their health, and benefits the community as a whole.
Cookie Coleman of the Red River Coalition of Gardeners says gardening is the right step for everyone,
“We are all in the situation of needing to know how to eat better...we believe in the long run it will help our children and the community to be a healthier Shreveport-Bossier.”
To learn more about which crops to grow during different seasons or simply how to join your local gardening group, click on the links below.
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