Growing your own produce is a simple solution to numerous health, environmental, and economic problems. Whether you are growing a single tomato plant or have a large backyard garden, it is beneficial to your health, as well as the environments.
1. More Nutritious
When growing your own food, your diet is more diverse and healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food in its rawest, freshest form is not only the tastiest way to enjoy it, but also the most nutritional. The majority of produce sold in grocery stores go through a long process of being harvested, shipped and distributed to stores. Once distributed, the produce can end up staying in storage or on the shelf for an extended period of time before being purchased, losing nutritional value.
2. Stay Active
Gardening is a fun way to get outside for some fresh air and physical activity. The physical activity required in gardening has proven to promote physical health. Involvement in gardening helps to improve cardiac health and immune system response, decrease heart rate and stress, improve fine and gross motor skills, flexibility and body strength. Getting regular exercise can relieve stress, anxiety and depression, while boosting energy.
3. Get Vitamin D
Gardening is a great way to absorb vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and it can also protect against certain diseases.
4. Save Money
You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables and fruits. By spending a few dollars on seeds, plants, and supplies in the spring, you will produce vegetables that will yield pounds of produce in summer.
5. Better for the Environment
Long-distance transportation of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels. Growing your own food would help reduce the reliance on this transportation that is harming the environment. Also, by growing your own food, you are not using chemicals or pesticides that can harm environment.
Source: 5 REASONS TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD, Healthy UNH
Eating healthy on a budget through smart shopping is not as difficult as one might think. We are excited to help share how easy it is to make conscious decisions while shopping for your family through our recent video series.
Eating Healthy on a Budget, our latest project, is a video series comprised of four videos created to provide information on how everyone can eat healthier and save money with "smart shopping" and clean eats.
We want to help Dillon County residents erase the myth that healthy eating is expensive or unattainable. It is possible to eat yummy, healthy foods while on a budget. Planning is essential in making this a reality!
It’s important to eat from every single food group every day because no single food group can provide all the nutrients you and your family need to stay healthy. MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. MyPlate is used as a reference throughout our video series.
We hope you will take time to view and share our videos and recipes. Together we can work to create a healthier and happier county.
It's that time again!
The Growing Good Health team comprised of RALI Board Members, DCHI staff members and community volunteers, has been busy preparing for our Spring 2018 Plant/Seed giveaway. Plant distribution will be held in all three cities this season; this is the first time we have tried this approach and look forward to seeing you all.
Rather you are a first time gardener or seasoned veteran in the gardening world, here are some tips for container growing:
Tip #1 - Pick out containers that are big enough for both the TOPS and ROOTS of your plants!
Containers that are too small won't hold enough water and may topple over if the tops of the plants are heavier than the roots and the soil! You want to be sure there are plenty of drainage holes in the pots too - you don't want the roots of your plants sitting in water.
Tip #2 - Choose soil that is made specifically for growing in containers and that it's fresh and not moldy, soggy or old.
Don't use regular garden soil or top soil as it can hold too much or too little water around the roots of your plants, or get too compacted for the roots to grow well.
Tip #3 - Place your containers in the right amount of SUN for your plants to bloom and grow happily.
Most vegetable plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun every day!
Tip #4 - Plan ahead so you can easily water!
Even with the right sized pots and the right kind of soil, vegetable plants need a lot of water to grow and produce well. Make sure you can get your water hose to your plants easily and often.
Once the heat of the summer hits, you may need to water your containers twice a day or more! Check the soil by placing your finger directly into the soil. If you don't feel moisture in the soil by the time you get to your knuckle, it's time to water the plants!
Water each container at the top of the soil (water the pot, not the foliage) until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom of your container.
Tip #5 - Fertilize!
Even soils that come with fertilizer in them don't have enough fertilizer to last all season long. Get a good quality, preferably organic, fertilizer that is made specifically for vegetables and follow the instructions on the package.
The above tips and more great information can be found in our most recent newsletter.
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Join DCHI in kicking off 2018 the most healthy and happy way we know how! Maybe you want to lose 5 or 10 pounds, maybe you want to increase your water intake or consume more vegetables with meals. whatever your desire be sure to share it with us so we can hold one another accountable as the year progresses.
It is common for Americans to set resolutions and by the end of January they are gone out of the window. Let this not be our story in 2018, we are going to stick to our health and/or fitness goals. Commit to a happy and healthy lifestyle, your body will thank you!
Share your resolution via Facebook or by clicking here and submitting your resolution in the comment box. FOUR random participants will be selected to win $10 in Market Moolah. This contest is open until Wednesday, January 31st. Like our Facebook page for program updates, health and gardening tips.
From Our Family to Yours: Happy Holiday Season!
March is National Nutrition Month and we are excited to be offering THREE Sharing Good Health sessions in the county to help promote health education and awareness across the county. The first session will be held today, March 13th at 5:30 PM at the Latta Recreation Center. Next Monday, March 20th, the session will be held at the Lake View High School Cafeteria beginning at 5:30 PM. The final session for March will be held on Monday, March 27th at the Wellness Center in Dillon, SC at 5:30 PM.
The 90 minute workshops will feature representatives from McLeod Medical Center-Dillon, DHEC and Clemson Extension Service. All we are asking is that you tell others about what you have learned at this workshop. The more we work together to share the practices of good health, the better our outcomes will be.
Please mark your calendars and spread the word -- Refreshments and more program information will be readily available at each session.