Fall celebrates the end of another successful summer for the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Program. JMG is a gardening and nutrition program that is a partnership between Patty Percy (Community Gardens Coordinator), Amanda Miller (FoodWIse Coordinator), and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. This summer, the program ran for 12 weeks spanning from April to August. 43 youth participated in the program, including Boys and Girls Club participants.
For information on the scientific support that youth fruit and vegetable gardens have on nutrition, obesity rates, physical activity and academic performance, visit this website. One of those benefits include an increased willingness to try fruits and vegetables. This was evident during the JMG series, with an average of 6-8 children per class stating they tried a new fruit or vegetable (with the remaining having eaten that particular fruit or vegetable before.)
Following the series, parents were surveyed for feedback. Of those that responded, 100% rated the program as either excellent or good.
- 67% of parents said their child is more willing to taste new foods that he/she usually doesn’t eat.
- 67% of parents said their child asked to make a new recipe at home that includes fruits and/or vegetables.
- 83% of parents said their child knows more about gardening.
“What a valuable opportunity for kids to be exposed to new healthy foods, hands-on cooking, and farm to table concepts. The interactive setting keeps kids engaged and learning, while they think they are just having fun.” – JMG Parent
“I liked the combination of eating and growing – helping the kids realize that they are totally connected. I don’t think some kids realize that connection.” – JMG Parent
“My daughter enjoyed the program. It is so wonderful to have this program. They are excellent life-long lessons.” – JMG Parent