2022 – Central District All Faculty Symposium – Horticulture, Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL)
L. Duncan, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, Bushnell, FL; L. Sanderson, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, Bushnell, FL. M. Hunter, Marion County, UF/IFAS Extension Marion County, Ocala, FL.
Situation: People of all ages in Sumter County can benefit from growing and eating their own fruits and vegetables. Some people have limited outdoor space, so alternatives to grow are needed. Participants in the Saturday Gardener programs will be able to grow their own produce at their homes and use the produce to prepare safe and healthy meals. Methods: Two salad table workshops and one microgreens workshop were offered. Participants assembled their own salad tables from pre-cut kits with the help of Agents, Master Gardener Volunteers, and Master Food and Nutrition Volunteers. Agents shared information on growing different fruits and vegetables. Each class included demonstrations on using the foods they grow and preparing them safely taught by Master Food and Nutrition Volunteers. Results: Following each class, participants were polled regarding knowledge gain and one-on-one discussions regarding intended use of their tables/kits. All participants gained new information and expressed eagerness to use their products. Long term follow-up surveys showed that participants are slow to put their plans into action. Of nine salad table participants who responded to the Qualtrics survey four took the class to be able to grow their own local produce, and five took the class to build their own table to use at home. One is using the table to grow their own salad, and three are preparing to use their table. Another reported using the table to grow a variety of vegetables, and one reports they consume more vegetables. Of the three responses related to the microgreens class, all have either somewhat agreed or agreed they now incorporate microgreens into their diet. All either said yes or maybe that their health has improved with more consumption of microgreens. Conclusion: Additional follow up is needed to determine long term impacts of the Saturday Gardener Workshops.