Learning how to produce, process and preserve fruits and vegetables is a vital step in healthy living. HMCI has taken active steps in public education of gardening essentials, along with other community partners, to teach these essentials to a growing population that thinks that all food comes from a can or a carton and is prepared though use of a microwave.
Gardening programs are a priority for HMCI in educating individuals and families for healthy living.
Erin’s Garden, named after an elementary school educator at Northwood Elementary School in Mooresville who pioneered a school garden project, grants have been and are being made to elementary schools in Morgan County for the purpose of planting, growing and cultivating vegetable gardens. The vegetables produced from the garden are used to prepare salsa for all the school’s students and staff.
HMCI supports community garden projects not only for personal use but also as a method of supplying fresh produce to food banks in the county. In 2014 two community gardens, the Hope Garden at Mt. Gilead Church in Mooresville and the Garden of Feedin’ at Eastview Christian Church in Martinsville provided in excess of two tons of produce to food banks and missions.
Two new community garden projects, supported by HMCI, are being developed in the spring of 2015. These include the Gardens at Grace in Mooresville and the Brooklyn Community Park.
Educating the public on how to preserve the fruits and vegetables produced in their gardens is the next phase in helping individuals and families understand the value of self-sufficiency and healthy living. In conjunction with community partners, HMCI will be supporting and developing food preservation programs.