Less than 1.5% of the U.S. population currently resides on a farm; fewer people with the ability to raise their own food contributes to the growing food insecurity problem. Additionally, in economically disadvantaged areas the availability of fresh, affordable produce is strained. WV ranks third highest in the nation for obesity and consistently ranks high in many poor health traits. Obesity contributes to a variety of medical complications. Obesity can be attributed to a variety of lifestyle factors including poor diet and lack of exercise.
In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people expressed food security concerns and WVU Extension experienced an unprecedented increase in clients interested in growing a garden, canning and other topics related to the family food supply. In response, WVU Extension Agents organized the Beginner Gardening series to provide relevant, scientifically based information through a series of factsheets and videos tailored to those that are new to gardening or are interested in expanding their gardens. A total of 39 factsheets and 6 videos have been released online since 2020 with additional educational material in production for the 2023 growing season. A new Gardening with WVU Extension FB group was created and within a year it has grown to over 3300 members. Posts are made at least biweekly with factsheets, garden calendar articles, educational videos, and responses to clients’ questions. 430 posts occurred in 2022. This poster will address the benefits and successes of this program and client data we have collected through the process.
|Conference||2023 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|