Figure 1: Stacey Struhar (FCS Agent), utilizing My Plate to teach portion control and how to balance a meal correctly with the Food Pyramid five food groups.
Located in Resurrection Park off of Calle de Milagros (a/k/a Lock St), the Mariposa Community Garden continues to grow via the care of The Mariposa’s girl youth empowerment group, and the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Community Gardens Program. This past week, the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Community Gardens Program Assistant, Eden Santiago Gomez, taught the girls how to identify and remove weeds, later harvesting their third harvest of vegetables this summer. The girls smiled, giggled, and laughed as they pulled weeds and collected green beans, okra, and hot peppers to take home. Afterwards, Stacey Struhar, the Family Consumer Science agent for UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension, taught a lesson on nutrition, utilizing My Plate and fun trivia, to teach the girls about how different nutrients in vegetables help their bodies grow and what a balanced meal looks like. Finishing up the lesson, the girl’s performed My Plate with their lunches, learning about ways to improve their future lunches by balancing out the five food groups. The My Plate poster on their clubhouse wall serves as a daily reminder of what a balanced meal looks like, helping to promote healthy food choices at home utilizing, in part, the veggies they have grown in their garden.