Half of Oklahoma adults are not eating fruit daily, and about a quarter of Oklahomans don’t eat a single vegetable daily. Local community gardens are one way that community groups are hoping to bring more options to the diet of local residents.
Through incentive and community-based grants, TSET is partnering to help create community gardens. Guthrie, Okmulgee and Muskogee are just a few of the places that offer community gardens.
The Okmulgee community garden started with two plots as a trial in the summer of 2011 by a retired pediatrician, and quickly expanded to 32 plots, and now has a greenhouse on site and construction of a gathering area and paved walkways will be started soon. After that construction ends, the Okmulgee garden will have 24 raised beds, 8 beds in the ground and a children’s garden area and herb garden. Okmulgee also has a “Plant-a-Six-Pack” project, in which every 4th and 5th grader in the county receives a six-pack of vegetable plants that included tomatoes, peppers, and squash. This year, they were able to give out over 6500 vegetable plants to students from every school in the county. Visit the Okmulgee County Community Garden Facebook page to learn more.
Muskogee hosts a number of community gardens including those at Spaulding Park, Ben Franklin Science Academy, Oldham Baptist Church and the Muskogee County Health Department. The Childhood Gardening Assistance Project was initiated by a number of contributors including the Cherokee Nation and the Muskogee County Health Department. This project has brought community gardens to child development centers and is meant to promote an early interest in the growing process and a love of fruits and vegetables. Learn more about the Muskogee community garden mission by vising the website here.
A TSET grant and 10,000 pounds of fresh produce later, the Guthrie Community Garden is in full swing. TSET grantee and Program Coordinator for the Logan County Health Department, Courtney McLemore explains how the Healthy Incentive Grant has impacted her community directly in this short video.