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Program Teaches Columbus Kids How to Grow Fruits and Veggies

COLUMBUS (Ashley Yore/Ken Hines) -- Hundreds of kids are learning outside the classroom this summer by growing -- then cooking -- nutritious food.

The Local Matters program teaches kids the process of planting, harvesting, and preparing fruits and vegetables through learning activities at nine community gardens in Columbus.

“You really get a chance to see what healthy soil is, and where your food starts," program leader Michael Jones said. "Then as it starts to grow, you get a chance to pick some of the fruits and vegetables that are out here and take them back into the class and cook them."

For many of the program's young participants, Local Matters provides their first experience with food production and urban farming.

“We're learning how to grow food, and how to eat better," 8th grader Aaliyah Middlebrooks said. "Instead of, like, going and buying, you can grow it yourself and [be] responsible to keep your plants healthy."

Local Matters officials are partnering with Columbus Parks to organize the program, which will last through the summer.
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