Fresh, filling, high in vitamins and fiber, and low in fat and calories, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan.  Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of healthy choices and physical activity by enjoying nature as part of a healthy lifestyle. By providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, local, public gardens are a great way to involve the community and create awareness for healthy eating, where neighbors come together to grow produce and share the harvest.
Community gardens produce nutritious food, reduce family food budgets, conserve resources, and create opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education.  Growing vegetables in your community is not only a great way to have healthy, fresh veggies and fruits right at your fingertips, but it is also a great way to get physical activity while enjoying the outdoors. An assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables throughout the year is important to maintaining a healthy life and preventing heart disease and other illnesses. Tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers are relatively easy to grow, and can add flavor and variety to your plate! Moreover, add flavor to everyday meals, without adding salt, by growing herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, and mint, which are easy to grow in any rural or urban environment.  Follow the directions on the seed packet that tell you how much water and light each plant needs, and you’ll have a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables in no time. 
The convenience of local gardens contributes to healthy lifestyles by helping a community eat healthier and save money. Gardens also provide the opportunity to learn more about food and establish healthy eating goals for the whole community, especially for young children.  While enjoying exercise, children can learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, discover the value of a healthy lifestyle, as well as take pride in the work they’ve done!