Strawberries growing in garden alongside Grow Garden State sign

Grow Garden State Challenge Encourages Home Farming and Healthy Eating Across New Jersey

Registration for the second annual Grow Garden State Challenge at Zufall Health is now open. Grow Garden State, an initiative of Zufall’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), equips participants with free fruit and vegetable seeds to encourage gardening in New Jersey.

This spring, Grow Garden State is providing beet, spinach, and zucchini seeds by mail to New Jersey-based individuals, families, and organizations who sign up online. The seeds can be grown in containers, in raised beds, in-ground, or indoors. People with all levels of gardening experience, including first-time gardeners, are welcome to join.

Cucumbers, lettuce, and green beans from a garden

Some delicious results from last year’s growing season.

Participants are encouraged to follow and engage with Grow Garden State’s Facebook and Instagram pages, where Zufall shares growing tips, nutrition information, and recipe ideas for this season’s crops. Followers can also enter contests to win prizes like gardening supplies, hummingbird feeders, and cookbooks.

Taking part in the Grow Garden State Challenge has many health benefits. Above all, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of chronic disease in children and adults, making good nutrition vital to good health. Outdoor gardening facilitates exercise, exposure to sunlight, and interaction with nature. The challenge is beneficial to participants’ mental health, too. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, gardening can relieve stress and anxiety and create a sense of accomplishment.

Zufall launched Grow Garden State in 2021 with 158 gardeners who planted cucumbers, lettuce, and green beans. This year, more than 380 people have already signed up to grow their own crops. The Grow Garden State team is enthused by the strong response and looks forward to exchanging ideas with gardeners and learning about their experiences.

If you are interested in the Grow Garden State Challenge, there’s still time to enroll! Learn more and claim your seeds here by March 31.



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