Get the entire family excited about the science of gardening at our Family Day in the Garden workshop this Saturday. There will be fun activities and demonstrations from Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, and 4-H SLO Scientists designed to feed the curiosity of the young and young at heart.
Studies show that children who are involved with growing their own food are likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, and a larger variety of each, than kids who do not garden at home.
“Whether a food is homegrown makes a difference,” according to Debra Haire-Joshu, director of Saint Louis University’s (SLU) Obesity Prevention Center. “Garden produce creates what we call a “positive food environment.”
In fact, Haire-Joshu’s SLU study found preschoolers were more than twice as likely to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily than their non-gardening peers.
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Good nutrition is only one of the many benefits of gardening as a family. Gardening offers many lessons.
There’s the science of working with plants, soil and water and seeing firsthand how the seasons, weather, pests and beneficial insects play a role in plant development.
Kids learn responsibility by caring for living plants, and patience waiting for seeds, flowers, and produce to develop.
A successful garden creates confidence, while unsatisfactory results can provide a les son in coping with disappointment and then problem-solving to search for better gar dening techniques.
Getting the family into the garden also provides a healthy dose of exercise by working the major muscle groups. For example, 30 minutes of raking leaves typically burns 162 calories, weeding or mowing with a power mower burns 182 calories, turning a compost pile burns 250 calories, and double-digging your garden soil burns 344 calories.
Bring your family to the Master Gardeners’ Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday to learn about bugs, conserving water, and the science behind growing a fantastic plant! Children must be accompanied by an adult; please remember to bring sunscreen and water.