School Gardens

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Program Highlight
Hualapai Extension
FRTEP - 1862

This program addresses the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service’s (CREES) Strategic Goal 6 to “Protect and Enhance the Nation’s Natural resource Base and Environment.” There was no history of diabetes recorded within the Hualapai Nation prior to the 1970’s. As soda, fast and or processed foods became popular and easily obtainable, the rate of diabetes also increased. Home gardening which produced the staples corn, beans and squash declined and along with it a decrease in harvesting and use of native plants and traditional foods as well. When youth are presented with the health benefits of eating fresh vegetables and given the opportunity to grow and taste them first hand, they experience something that will shape their food preferences throughout life as well as give them information to share with others in
their families.

The First/Second grade teacher in the Peach Springs Elementary School wanted to introduce to her students a hands on
gardening experience to introduce the concept of growing things, the knowledge of where foods come from, and the actual harvest and consumption of fresh vegetables. We put together a program to address those needs as well as the nutrition aspects identified on the reservation. Project goals are : 1) increase exposure to fresh vegetables when it came
time for harvest, 2) create a “can do” experience to growing vegetables in the harsh climate and soil native to this reservation, 3) provide take home materials to include families in the program.