Children, Youth and Environments.
Vol 14, No.2 (2004)
Hortaliza: A Youth “Nutrition Garden” in Southwest Detroit
This paper documents a youth garden that was developed in 2000 through a university-community partnership in a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood in southwest Detroit. It involved four community-based organizations and several residents—youth among them—from the neighborhood, in garden planning, set-up, and management. Kids grew vegetables of different kinds to take home and ate healthy snacks at the garden. They learned about the importance of vegetables and fruits to healthy diets, the nutritional value of particular vegetables, and how to grow vegetables. At the end of the season, we documented increased interest among kids in eating fruits and vegetables, kids making new friends, an appreciation for working with neighborhood adults and improvement of neighborhood appearance. Kids also showed increased knowledge about nutrition, plant ecology, and gardening and indicated interest in participating in the garden the following year. Although the garden lot was sold two years later, this documentation of benefits is helping inform advocacy of youth gardens with local public agencies and community-based nonprofits.