More than 50,000 pounds of fresh garden produce, worth more than $100,000, is being provided annually from food gardens to low-income and disadvantaged populations.
Our first survey of food gardeners showed:
- 46% of the gardeners were new to growing vegetables.
- The average knowledge level increased over the growing season from “a little,” to between “some” and “a lot.”
- All gardeners learned new gardening tips and techniques.
- 94% saved money by growing their own food, averaging from $100 to $250.
- 82% of the gardeners worked with others in the garden, primarily children.
- 86% found the Master Gardeners to be helpful.
- All gardeners plan to participate next year.
- Other reported benefits of food gardening included:
- Improved my community: 88%
- Relieved stress: 82%
- Provided physical activity: 80%
- Provided a healthier diet: 76%
"Planting and growing stuff helps me breathe the fresh air around me and think about what I'm going to do with my life, where I'm at now in my life, and how I'm going to change it. Because like the plants, I'm still growing and the more sunlight and water (motivation, confidence, and positive thinking) I absorb, the more I grow. - Teen incarcerated at the Juvenile Justice Center
"The gardeners here are low-income and there are no grocery stores with fresh produce within walking distance. The vegetables these gardeners grow have expanded their diets and saved them money. The garden has helped them to work together as families and neighbors, improved their neighborhood, decreased their stress, and given them hope and motivation." - Bill Dixon, Master Gardener, WSU Benton County Extension
From teenage gardeners at Lakeview Mobile Homes Park community garden regarding what they liked best about the community garden:
- "Our community bonds more."
- "We were the ones who built it and people got good things out of it."
For more information, please contact Marianne C. Ophardt, WSU Extension Benton County Director & Area Horticulture Specialist, 5600E West Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336, call: 509-735-3551 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.