Thursday, July 29, 2010

When seeds grow

Encouraging residents in April to create or expand community gardens in Dakota County is bearing fruit—and vegetables. Hundreds of pounds of fresh vegetables have been donated to local food shelves with lots more to come.

Dakota County provided grants to nine community gardens earlier this year. The grants were funded by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program. In addition to supplying local foods shelves, the gardens help people get to know each other, provide an outlet for stress, reduce household food budgets, and improve the environment. Although many gardeners will say they do it because it’s fun. And what could be more fun than a parade.

The Parade of Community Gardens is like an open house for gardens. It gives folks the chance to see 66 community gardens throughout the Twin Cities. The event is Saturday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eight of those gardens are in Dakota County. More information—including garden locations—is available at Many of the gardens have activities for kids, treats, music and opportunities to learn and get involved in community gardening. The website even includes routes for biking and walking.

Community Gardens are just one of the ways Dakota County staff encourages healthy eating. This year at the Dakota County Fair Aug. 9–15, the Government Building will be featuring Highway to Health, which includes fun activities for kids and helpful information for adults.

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