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Grow Your Own Garden As Part Of National Nutrition Month’s Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Ranked 50th In Consumption, Oklahomans Urged To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

[location] (March XX, 2012) – With spring officially here, Oklahomans can pull out the green thumbs and grow their own home garden as a way to encourage their families to eat more fruits and vegetables.

“Growing a home garden is something many Oklahomans already enjoy, but even those with no prior gardening skills can experience the joys of a home garden relatively easily,” said [coalition/group/agency spokesperson], [coalition/group/agency name]. “Not only is growing your own rewarding, it also provides an ample supply of fruits and vegetables that are convenient and inexpensive.”

Shape Your Future, the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan Obesity Work Group and [coalition/group/agency] have partnered with Fruits & Veggies—More Matters (www.fruitsandvegetablesmorematters.org) as a resource to make it easier for individuals and families to get more fruits and vegetables into their daily routine.

And a home garden is a natural. Late March and April are typically key months to begin your vegetable garden in Oklahoma. To have that lush garden full of delicious fruits and vegetables when summer rolls around, you’ve got to make sure your seeds have the best possible growing environment. Loosen the soil with a garden rake, hoe or shovel and add some kind of organic matter to the existing ground. Now you’re ready for planting. Different plants require different depths in the soil but generally, plant seeds at a depth that is twice their diameter. Following this rule, you’ll find that the smallest seeds will be planted just beneath the surface.

For more in-depth information, or information on fertilizing, thinning, watering and harvesting your garden, go to: www.fruitsandvegetablesmorematters.org.

While it takes a little effort to properly maintain, gardening can be a great family activity. Sharing the effort while spending time together will make it easier and more fun. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how much interest your kids will have in eating those fruits and veggies when they’ve been involved in growing them.

For more information about incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, including meal planning, ways to serve, recipes, growing your own and buying local, or National Nutrition Month initiatives, visit www.ShapeYourFutureOK.com, www.eatright.org/nnm/, and www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.###

For Nutrition/Fitness Grantees in County Health Departments:

About the [coalition name] [OR GROUP/AGENCY BOILERPLATE]

[coalition] is a [type of grant = CX, CSI, etc.] grantee of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust serving [county(ies)] and promoting smokefree environments, tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention. For more information about [coalition], contact [name] at [phone].

FOR ALL:

The Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan (OHIP), mandated by the Oklahoma Legislature, sets a clear path to transform Oklahoma from a state that consistently reports a poor health status to a state that demonstrates a dynamic process allowing Oklahomans to lead healthier lives.  OHIP addresses improving health outcomes through targeted “flagship initiatives” of children’s health improvement, tobacco use prevention, and obesity reduction. The plan also looks at the complex issue of increasing the effectiveness and accountability of the public health infrastructure. Finally, the plan discusses approaches to addressing the social determinants of health – those factors such as poverty, education, access to health services, housing and transportation – that help determine whether individuals stay healthy or become ill.  Learn more at: www.ShapeYourFutureOK.com or www.health.ok.gov.

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