Durham, N.C., Teens' Inner-City Organic Garden Feeds Their New Demand for Vegetables

A teen-led inner-city gardening program to increase access to and demand for affordable fresh produce in an African-American and Latino community

In 2005–06, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) in Durham, N.C., expanded Durham Inner-City Gardeners (DIG)-a program that teaches teenagers about organic farming and healthy eating habits.

The organization also launched a companion project—Youth Are What Youth Eat—in which members of DIG performed skits about proper nutrition for other youth and children.

Key Results

  • The number of teenagers involved in DIG doubled to 20 in summer 2006 from 10 in summer 2005.

  • The teenagers tried planting nine vegetables and many herbs for the first time, including squash, kale, chard, leeks, golden cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, eggplant, spinach and leaf lettuce.

  • Ten of the teenagers altered their eating habits, and 19 changed their attitudes toward eating vegetables.