Thursday 02 Oct 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

New online Garden Community encourages healthy living through gardening

Published: 2:38 pm CDT, July 30, 2014

The American Heart Association is offering a new online community for gardening enthusiasts to connect, share information and learn to live healthier.

The free site began on Wednesday and is designed for people of all ages and skill levels who garden at home, school or in the community. Resources are available to explain different garden types and designs, cultivation methods, lesson plans for educational gardening programs and healthy recipes for fresh, garden-grown foods, according to the AHA.

Garden Community members can participate in discussions, get ideas about other gardening programs and share photos, videos and other tips to show what makes their garden or gardening program successful. They also can compare notes on teaching children about gardening and healthy eating.

The virtual community is a natural outgrowth of the AHA Teaching Garden program, which reaches 270 U.S. elementary schools. By increasing Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption, the Garden Community can help lower obesity rates and improve overall health, according to the AHA.

Research shows that children who grow vegetables may be more likely to eat them, and people eat more fruits and vegetables if they participate in community gardens.