Local News

Teenagers Learn To Eat Veggies By Growing Them

Posted July 28, 2006 8:02 a.m. EDT

— They say if you teach a boy how to fish, he'll never go hungry. The same goes for gardening. A new program is helping teens with developmental disabilities enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Summer mornings mean harvest time at the Goodwill Garden. The students participating in the "School to Work" gardening program learn how to recognize ripe and damaged fruits and vegetables. Bruised or insect-damaged produce goes into the compost pile.

Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina trains students in many job-related tasks. Gardening is more than a job skill. Growing fruits and vegetables actually inspires the students to eat them when they might have avoided them before.

"We realize that persons with disabilities, another issue that they fight is the idea that nutrition is also a problem that goes along with it, so we wanted to expose them to basic nutrition and planting vegetables and how to deal with those vegetables," said Gena Brown, liaison to Goodwill's School to Work program.

Instructors make sure the students get plenty of breaks and go inside before the heat gets to be too much.