In our community one of the biggest issues is availability of fresh local produce and a short growing season. The other barrier for people is the knowledge of what will grow here and techniques to growing those crops. This project was designed to introduce growing your own food to children and foster the “grow it yourself for life” mentality. The freshest and most nutritious produce you can get are the crops you grow yourself.
How has 4-H helped?
4-H has allowed us the funding to purchase and facilitate the use of a low-cost, season-extending structure that could be used as a greenhouse as well. We purchased a 10 x 20 pre-fabricated structure that the kids and leaders had to assemble as a team. We were told by Northern Tools (the company we purchased the house from) that one person could assemble the house in about 2 hours. We had four people in our group and it took approximately 6 hours to assemble, but we had fun. We also devised a theme for the house calling it the “Salsa Shack.” We as a group decided to grow all the ingredients to make Pico De Gallo Sauce – tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and cilantro, make the veggies into the dish, hand out sample cups and chips as a snack. In addition to the snack give away, we put together a seed give away. Our seed handouts were constructed of a 4 ¼” x 11” card stock paper, printed on both sides. Page 1 has the name of the dish Pico De Gallo and the translation “Rooster’s Beak,” the recipe and seeds for the 4 main ingredients. We also included instructions for cultivation of the different seed varieties. On page 2 we printed some cooking, preparation and growing tips.The Portable Display Greenhouse is a collaborative effort between 4-H members, fairgrounds staff, and other service agencies to raise awareness of small space food production, access to nutritious food, and youth leadership opportunities in our community. Youth and adults will learn small space gardening techniques, how to prepare healthy meals and teamwork through the construction of greenhouse.
Finally, we would showcase the project at the County Picnic and the Fair. The kids that are involved in the project would be the hosts of the house at the events. They would hand out the snacks, seed handouts and answer questions that the public may have about the project. This project is designed to be used as a learning tool for the area youth to be able to be self-reliant and sustainable within the community they live.