Learn to Grow and Harvest in the Fox Valley Food for Health (FVFFH) Gardening Program

Spring is here and we are looking forward to garden-fresh produce with a look at FVFFH’s approach to healthy growing and eating. 

For the past 3 years, Kautz Farm in Geneva generously donated garden plots for our use. Our teen and adult volunteers worked together in the organic gardens all spring and summer to grow vegetables from seed to harvest. These gardens produced hundreds of pounds of healthy vegetables for our meals which support families struggling with a serious illness such as cancer. 

This year, designed in collaboration with Mooseheart Child City and School in Batavia, the garden program plans to expand in order to reach more teens for education and  and training about the benefits of organic gardening and healthy eating. Mooseheart is a home for children and teens in need from infancy to high school. The garden aims to help teens and adults eat more fruits and vegetables, in order to improve health, treatment outcomes and survival.

Our gardening team includes Mooseheart educators, master gardeners, dietitians and skilled home gardeners working together to grow, harvest and teach teens about organic gardening, healthy food preparation, food safety and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables. 

Cancer survivors are at risk for poor nutrition due to therapy, inadequate dietary patterns and susceptibility to unproven dietary advice. One objective of our intervention is to establish dietary patterns for all ages built upon the foundation of improved fruit and vegetable intake.  Participants in the gardening program increase their daily vegetable and fruit consumption and report improved mental and physical health.

Tips While You’re Gardening

  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, long sleeved shirts and pants and a wide brimmed hat.
  • When working outside, stay hydrated with plenty of water, especially if the temperature and humidity are high.
  • Using steady, smooth motions- as opposed to sudden jerks- will help avoid injury.

Interested in gardening this summer, click here.

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