Community gardens, a "growing" trend in Shreveport

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 7:13pm

Obesity is a major epidemic, but with education and lifestyle changes, it can be cured.

Grace Peterson, of the LSU AgCenter, thinks one way to do that is to make fresh fruit and vegetables accessible to everybody. Sometimes they aren't accessible because there isn't a store near by, or people can't afford them.

And that's where community gardens like the one at Valencia Park come into play.

Many gardens offer work days, where people can take home whatever they pick for free, giving them easy access to fresh products.

Another part of making these foods accessible, is teaching people how to cook and prepare them. Peterson designed the Food Initiative for Kids Task Force for that purpose. She teaches children of varying ages how to take food from seed to plate.

Shalon Lewis, from SPAR, has noticed how kids are more willing to try different vegetables if they planted them and nurtured them. And kids have liked trying the new foods.

Community gardens are a growing trend in the city, there are 14 of them in Shreveport, and the Valencia Park garden has increased in size in the 4 years it has been there.

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