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South Boston, Virginia
First Planting in 2018
“Fostering a strong community and agricultural education by growing and harvesting nutritious produce for those in need.”
The Healthy Harvest Community Garden (HHCG) was established in 2017 after the Southern Virginia Botanical Garden and Environmental Education Center (SVBG) received an Innovative Rural Programming Award from the Virginia State Office of Rural Health. Other partners in Halifax County who have been key to the garden’s success include: Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, Halifax County Cooperative Extension, Halifax County Public Schools and most recently, the Town of Halifax.
The Healthy Harvest Community Garden was originally conceived as a way to introduce people to the importance of nutrition and healthy eating, and a way to provide healthy produce to individuals who otherwise may not have access to fresh food. Since its inception, the garden has become a way for community members to explore healthy eating while learning about growing and cooking nutritious produce.
There are 4 components to HHCG operations:
Produce healthy produce to feed those in need in Halifax County
- 2021 Harvest: 4,400 lbs. of summer crops, 400 lbs. of fall harvest
Provide education for low-income women and families on the importance of nutritious food and methods to prepare it
Provide career information and experience, and financial support for students interested in agriculture as a life/work career
Introduce vegetables to children, with incentive to broaden their palates to include vegetables in their diets
- The Power of Produce Program offers free tastings of vegetables to participating children at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market.
- The requirement is that a child take two bites of the vegetable, and in return they are rewarded with a token they can use at any market stall to purchase their choice of vegetable.
- Not only do children enjoy learning the taste of new foods, but they also feel agency in making their choice of vegetables to take home.
- Farmers are reimbursed for the cost of the vegetables “sold” to children.
- In 2021, cherry tomatoes were the most popular “purchased” vegetable.