Organic gardening project improves children's health

By Diane Palmer

4-H Organic GardeningTo help children learn about sustainable agriculture, healthy eating habits and the environment, 4-H joined with the Greenville Organic Foods Organization to build four gardens at local elementary schools.

The 4-H Grow Healthy Kids project, led by Clemson Extension agent Liz Smitherman, began during a Hands-on-Greenville Day this spring. Children will plant, maintain, and harvest produce in their school's organic garden, and learn to prepare the foods they have grown. The program also includes environmental science activities that teach community leadership, life skills, and healthy nutrition.

"Local businesses have contributed to the project and several Greenville Master Gardeners are volunteering as advisers to the 4-H Grow Healthy Kids clubs," said Smitherman.

The program focuses on organic gardening to produce vegetables without synthetic pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified seeds.

For information: Liz Smitherman, 864- 232-4431, ext. 125,