Garden 2 Table 2018 Hits the Mark … Again
May 21, 2018 – South Dallas, Texas is not the most affluent area, but it is characterized as a food desert with poor and ethnic minorities facing barriers to access grocery shopping and limited transportation. Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program county agents recognized a need in serving this population by offering no-cost workshops for residents. The workshops provided best practice tips for urban gardening along with research-based information from experts on food safety and healthy lifestyles. Thus, Garden 2 Table program included information on growing your own food, making healthy choices with what you have and stretching your food dollar.
This spring marked the 4th collaborative event between Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program, The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and The Methodist Dallas Health System. Together these partners served as a hub for quality research-based resources designed to deliver meaningful context for city dwellers as presenters touched on the following topics:
- Raised bed and backyard gardening
- Composting in the city
- Bees and pollination in the city
- Canning and preserving and
- Spring cleaning your diet food demonstrations
As a result of this annual event, over the years, hundreds of community members have been impacted. Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, located in South Dallas, joined the movement and incorporated resources into their program to affect the congregation, individual households, and the community positively. The programs in the church taught members how to improve their dietary meal plans through “spiritual pampering and awareness”. Also, the church members went a step further by constructing raised bed gardens. They invited neighboring businesses to adopt the model and shared in the raised bed gardens initiated by the program. The program grew from workshops to a major conference, and today reaches more members of the community beyond the initial projections.The participants reported significant satisfaction with the event and committed to using the information gained to help make healthier lifestyle decisions in the future.
FCS Extension Agent, Dallas County