Growing Your Healthy Florida Lifestyle in Seminole County 2023

Grow Your Healthy Florida Lifestyle

Beginning in April, UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County hosted a five week Grow Your Healthy Florida Lifestyle Series. The class met every Friday for 3 hours to learn all about the dimensions of wellness and healthy living in Florida. We focused on food and learned about our food from farm to fork! In each class, participants worked together to make a healthy meal.

Participants at Big Tree Park
A mindfulness walk at Big Tree Park in Seminole County

Welcome to Wellness (4/21)

In this class, we dove into the dimensions of wellness and learned how to improve our lives daily. From physical to mental to environmental wellness and more, we explored these dimensions hands on. For our first meal together, we dove into creating lively salads and salad dressings. After cleaning up our kitchen mess, we enjoyed a short meditation and took a mindfulness walk at Seminole County’s Big Tree Park.

Veggies and Herbs (4/28)

Participants building their herb planters
Participants outside building herb planters to take home.

On our Veggie and Herb Day, we talked about local agriculture and the plants we eat. We learned about the differences between organic and non-organic plant production. We talked about the parts of the plants we harvest and eat and when different products are in season in Florida. Participants put together a potted herb container and a hydroponic herb jug to practice growing their own herbs at home. We all made our own pesto with herbs from our on site garden to go over pasta.

All About Livestock (5/5)

JK Yarborough teaching on the cattle industry
Lecture on beef by JK Yarborough, UF/IFAS Extension Seminole & Orange County Livestock Agent

On this Friday, we covered livestock and talked a lot about the cattle industry in Florida. Our meal went hand and hand with the theme of the day and participants grilled hamburgers and learned about safe cooking temperatures of meat. We also learned about dairy and compared the nutritional values to many milk alternatives. The group even got to taste test many different milks and milk alternatives. We wrapped up the class learning about food waste and how composting at home can help to recycle food waste.

Great Grains and the Farm (5/12)

Participants playing the grain game.
Participants playing a matching game about processed foods and grain production.

In the Great Grains and the Farm class, we learned about the history of grain production in the U.S. with a guest presentation from Bennett Lloyd at the Museum of Seminole County history. We also learned about the science behind some of the grain varieties used in farming today. We talked integrating whole grains into the diet and the processing of flours and their nutritional values. For this days meal, we learned how to prepare corn and flour tortillas crop scratch and enjoyed a delicious taco meal together.

As Sweet As Fruit (5/19)

Participants learning about peach production in Florida
Farm visit to Dutch Mill Nursery and Lommerse Honey & Plants to learn about fruit production.

In our last class of our series, we ended with something sweet! We took a trip to a Dutch Mill Nursery and Lommerse Honey & Plants. Farmer Rob taught us all about the edible fruit crops they grow including peaches, avocados, and more. We went back to the extension office to talk more about propagation strategies commonly used in fruit growing. Everyone went home with mulberry cuttings and papaya seedlings that they planted themselves. Participants also practiced looking at country of origin labels on a variety of fruits. We prepared another salad meal, this time integrating a little sweetness by topping the salad with a variety of fun fruits.

When will this series be offered again?

If this sounds like a class series that you are interested in, be on the lookout for it again! We plan on holding the five week series again in Spring 2024. Check our Eventbrite page in early 2024 for additional information and registration. Every year we make some changes to the series based on feedback from participants so activities may vary from year to year.


Posted: May 22, 2023

Category: AGRICULTURE, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Food Safety, Fruits & Vegetables, Health & Nutrition, HOME LANDSCAPES, UF/IFAS Extension, , WORK & LIFE
Tags: Farm To Fork, FreshFromFlorida, Healthy Lifestyles, KnowYourFood, SeminoleCountyAg, ThinkLocal

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