From Sow to Grow
By: Jen French
On May 10th, 2010, the 8 Healthy Champions from BSHC launched their Community Gardening Project in a two-part kick off event. The first day's festivities consisted of everything from mapping out garden plots to planting the first seeds in styrofoam cups, and the second day welcomed friends, families, and Health Center Staff to some fun in the sun at the first annual garden "Dig Day".
Through both individual and collaborative gardening efforts, the Healthy Champions have begun to master urban gardening techniques such as finding appropriate soil composition and ideal seedling placement, the detriments of too much New England sunshine, and how to thin out a monstrous squash plant which has decided to break through its allotted space and take over the entire garden plot!
It has been quite a wild ride preparing the nearby Stonehurst/Norton garden plots. But now after several months of weeding, watering, and waiting, the Healthy Champions have found themselves in the peak of harvesting season, reaping basketfuls of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, basil, and lettuce on a weekly basis! Check out their progress in this BIDMC article:
and in their Neighborhood Network News feature presentation:
If you have the opportunity to meet these local youth, you will see that their ideas of becoming "Healthy Champions" do not simply stop at growing healthy food. They have taken it upon themselves to not only teach others about the basics of backyard growing, but have also launched a mini marketing campaign through sales of their produce at the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market. Their mission is simple: to promote health through the availability of healthy and affordable local produce, and to teach others about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices in reducing chronic disease rates such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Come visit the Farmers Market, every Thursday from 3-6:30pm in the BSHC parking lot, and learn what it takes for you too to become a Champion!