Howard University in Washington, D.C., has initiated a new project to encourage healthy eating habits. The My Garden Project is sponsored by Howard University Hospital and the Howard University College of Medicine.
The program began last year with about 12 participating families. This year, 50 families are participating in the My Garden Project. Families in the program receive lumber to fence in their backyard garden, a few plants, soil, and gardening advice. Families are asked to keep a diary tracking plant growth, infestation, and watering.
Dr. Mark Johnson, dean of the Howard University College of Medicine, stated, “The goal is to promote sustainability and healthy eating. And with childhood obesity on the rise in the United States, it’s important to show children where vegetables come from. If people eat right, they can maintain their health and prevent deleterious side effects.”
Dr. Johnson was named dean of the medical college in 2011. He is a graduate of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He earned his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his residency at the University of South Alabama Medical Center. Dr. Johnson also holds a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.