Lyford Gardening Project Leading to Healthy Choices

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LYFORD - An after-school program is growing Lyford Middle School students’ knowledge about and appetite for vegetables. They have their own garden as part of “Learn, Grow, Eat and Go,” a joint effort between the school and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

"It's a new experience for them. It's something outside of the classroom, and that's what I enjoy most about seeing the kids out here,” said Joan Marroquin, the Lyford CISD after-school coordinator. “I had my husband come by. He donated his time, and he worked with the kids to help build the raised beds."

The group of 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds started planting vegetables in February. "We have peas, tomatoes, onions. We planted some carrots and some bell peppers as well.  So, we have a lot going on here,” said teacher Bleidy Pruneda.

Perla Flores of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service explained the group met on Tuesdays to learn the fundamentals of gardening and MyPlate, which focuses on finding and building healthy eating choices. "Then you grow. You start planting,” she said. “Then you eat from what you plant and then you go to do physical activity after you eat."

Zucchini spaghetti is one meal the students have already enjoyed from the vegetables in their garden. “I thought it would be disgusting before I tasted it,” said one student. “But it turned out to be pretty good.”

“It was very delicious,” added another middle schooler.

Flores said, “And what I really, really am very proud of these kids (for) is how they have incorporated more vegetables on their plate instead of junk food."

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5. 

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