Friday, May 28, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The WISEWOMAN Entrepreneurial Gardening Project is expanding into five new counties this year. Along with Ogemaw, women in Antrim, Charlevoix, Crawford, Missaukee, and Otsego counties will have the opportunity to participate. Once again, we are partnering with Michigan State University Extension in all of these counties.

Here is how it works. The WISEWOMAN Lifestyle Counselors recruit WISEWOMAN participants who are interested in gardening. The participants are then referred to MSU Extension. The Extension Educators and Program Assistants provide nutrition education, while the Master Gardeners share their knowledge to help the WISEWOMAN participants get the most out of their gardens. For the entrepreneurial part of the project, the women learn how best to market their fruits and vegetables at local farmer’s markets.

Participant Garden From 2009 Project
The project has real and immediate benefits for the WISEWOMAN participants. The women learn nutrition information and gardening skills. They get physical activity working in their gardens. They get to eat fresh fruits and vegetables from their own gardens, and they can earn money by selling their extra produce.

Along with the immediate benefits, we believe we will also see long-term benefits. These include the health benefits that come from increasing physical activity and increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables the women eat. They also include psychological and emotional benefits that come from increased self-esteem, decreased stress, and being part of a social network.

Keep checking the WISEWOMAN blog to find out more about this project as it unfolds!

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