Community gardens create healthy food options

Meigs Health Matters

By Laura Cleland - For the Times-Sentinel

To increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, the Creating Healthy Communities Coalition has coordinated with various organizations to implement community gardens.

You may ask, “What is a community garden?” Simply, a community garden is a public space where friends and families can grow fresh produce and herbs.

There are many benefits to growing your own food: improving one’s health by eating more fruits and vegetables; saving on your grocery bill as you harvest from the garden; enjoying better tasting fresh foods; and building a sense of pride as the garden grows.

Working in a community garden is a way to learn a particular skill that you can carry with you throughout life. Community members of all ages are encouraged to get involved with their local community garden. Youth, especially, are able to explore gardening and nature through formal or informal participation in community gardens. Community gardens promote teamwork and good stewardship, and provide a safe place for people of different backgrounds to interact.

There are many different types of community gardens in our county supported by the Meigs County Health Department’s Creating Healthy Communities and Together on Diabetes grant programs. The Mulberry Center established a garden to increase access to produce for those working in the garden and to stock its food pantry and kitchen with fresh produce. Meigs and Eastern local schools host gardens to teach children about the importance of agriculture through hands-on activities. Meigs County Juvenile Court mentors youth by working to maintain school gardens during the summer break. A communal garden at the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District is being developed by Girl Scout Troop 1350 to provide fresh produce to residents in the area.

A community garden is a great way to have access to the resources needed to grow and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables. If you would like to get involved in a local community garden or start a garden in your Meigs County community, contact me at (740) 992-6626 or via email

Lastly, Meigs County Health Department appreciates the assistance of Bob’s Market and Greenhouses for their support of our 2016 community garden projects.
Meigs Health Matters

By Laura Cleland

For the Times-Sentinel