Using a Hands-on Approach to Teach Vegetable Gardening and to Encourage Healthy Eating among Adults

Linda Seals, Elizabeth Shephard, James Fletcher, Sally Scalera


Interest in backyard vegetable gardens and small farm vegetable production has increased significantly in recent years. Many factors have contributed to the increased interest, including rising grocery costs, a desire to eat healthier, and fears of contaminated food. To meet the demand for information on how to grow backyard vegetables, and to encourage healthier eating among adults, a 12-week, hands-on class titled “Be Healthy, Grow Your Own: Vegetable Gardening in Florida” was created. The class was a collaborative effort between Family and Consumer Sciences, Horticulture, and Agriculture Extension agents. The objectives of the class were to increase vegetable consumption among adults, and to increase participants’ confidence in growing their own vegetables. Participants were assigned a 20 ft ×20 ft garden plot (located on the Extension office campus) where they could practice the lessons learned during a weekly, 2-h lecture.


vegetable gardening, healthy eating

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283