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Over 60% of the population in Kern County is reported as being overweight or
obese. The purpose of creating an edible garden is to increase the awareness
and consumption of fruits and vegetables in our children. Research has shown
that children who are intimately involved in edible gardens have increased their
daily vegetable and fruit consumption by 2.5 servings per day (American Dietetic
Association, 2007). This evidence-based approach substantiates the significance
for creating an edible garden at the Kern County Fair grounds to help benefit inner
city kids and educate our community. Being one of the top agricultural counties in
the state, we want to provide a facility for our local youth to learn about agriculture
With a little bit of water, sunlight, a vision and the support of the administration and garden team, the edible garden can assist in not only growing healthy produce, but also broadening the knowledge base of everyone who participates in the garden.
Measuring the impact of the edible garden on several levels is key to sustaining
the garden as an integral educational component to the district’s overall learning
objectives. We plan on having three (3) raised vegetable garden plots for the local
schools, one (1) green house, multiple raised beds for Kern County Crops, a portable kitchen, along with interactive agricultural demonstrations during the fair.
A Farm at the Kern County Fair is long overdue. Kern County ranks the highest out of all 58 Counties in California in deaths from heart disease and second in deaths from diabetes. Being one of the top agriculture producing counties, it only seems fitting to showcase all of this at the Kern County Fair to help educate our community. Not only will KC’s Farm be able to be enjoyed by the 400,000+ attendees that we have during the 12 days of the annual Fair, thousands of others will benefit from this farm throughout the year.
The implementation of an edible garden may seem like a vast amount of work, the benefits are endless for the schools, students, and our local communities of Kern County. Edible Gardens are a wonderful way to bring students, teachers, administration, community volunteers, and organizations together to work toward achieving one common goal.
This requires a motivated garden team, upper administration approval, and stakeholder buy-in for a successful and sustainable garden effort and can make the planning and implementation stages more achievable. Working with our local schools to develop a classroom curriculum for long-term success and maintenance of the physical garden is key to KC’s Farm.
There are numerous stages involved for full implementation of an edible garden and each stage needs personal attention. Taking the time to create a comprehensive vision and a well thought out action plan in the beginning, will save many countless hours on the backside.
Edible gardens contribute to a healthy local food system by increasing education, acceptance, cooperation, and the production of local food and agriculture.
Remember, gardening is universal and is not dependent on socioeconomic status, race, gender, or age. It allows for the individuality of each gardener (or student) to be expressed without bias. It cultivates relationships that may not normally be developed within an indoor classroom setting.
The Wheeler Foundation
Friends of the Kern County Fair
Robert Grimm Family Foundation
If you are interested in becoming one of the
KC Farm Founders
, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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