Article by Jason Erno
According to the National Gardening Association, home food gardens are at the highest levels in more than a decade in the United States. This is not surprising since they are able to provide cheap, nutritious and organic alternatives to store-bought produce. The Food and Agriculture of the United Nations Organization has utilized food gardens in less developed countries like Rwanda and India to increase nutritional value of diets.
Dr. Dil Thavarajah in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recognizes the practicality of these home food gardens and wants to add more nutritious and healthy food options to families. “A vegetable garden is a cheap and easy way to provide dietary fiber and protein for a five-member family,” Thavarajah said. The Tiger Gardens: Healthy Home Gardens to Combat Malnutrition and Obesity in Rural SC, USA Creative Inquiry team began building several irrigated wooden garden beds at Clemson to plant vegetables like broccoli, kale, radishes and brussel sprouts.
“A vegetable garden is a cheap and easy way to provide dietary fiber and protein for a five-member family.” – Dr. Dil Thavarajah
The team worked with Clemson Elementary School and Pendleton Elementary School to introduce this garden concept to students. After the Creative Inquiry team set up these beds at the schools, the children continued to plant vegetables and care for the crops. The team also established gardening clubs at each school to educate students about the nutritional value of what they are growing and introduce recipes using the grown crops.
“We are also planning to start a farm-to-table operation in Greenville, so we’ll produce food locally and market it to restaurants and local vegetable stands.” – Alex Abare, a senior plant and environmental sciences major
“We are also planning to start a farm-to-table operation in Greenville, so we’ll produce food locally and market it to restaurants and local vegetable stands,” Alex Abare, a senior plant and environmental sciences major, said. Each student on the team leads a part of the project: design of the garden, transplanting, education and outreach, fertilizing and harvesting. Without a doubt, the students in this project have shown an exceptional mastery of home garden design as well as the dietary value of owning one.