- Agronomic: general grain crops
- Fruits: melons
- Vegetables: beans, broccoli, cucurbits, peppers, tomatoes
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Education and Training: mentoring, youth education, technical assistance
- Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
- Soil Management: earthworms, organic matter, soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: leadership development, local and regional food systems, partnerships, public participation, community services, social networks
The Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education Program was developed by the Shiawassee Conservation District as part of the YMCA Camp Shiawassee summer youth program. Over the course of the 2013 YMCA Summer Camp season, this project was coordinated by the Shiawassee Conservation District and delivered Sustainable Agriculture-themed education to Shiawassee County youth. The Conservation District assisted the YMCA with establishing a Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden at the YMCA Outdoor Center located on the Shiawassee River using raised garden beds to illustrate how an abundance of food can be sustainably grown with limited land and manageable inputs.
The Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden Program presented the unique opportunity for youth campers to plant, grow and harvest a variety of vegetables revealing diversity among the plant community and clarity in how food is grown while learning sustainable agriculture concepts. To complement the garden, the Conservation District held weekly sessions on sustainable agriculture and conservation methods in growing food for a healthier lifestyle and environment. The emphasis of this program was on producing abundant food without depleting the earth’s resources or polluting our environment, reducing input costs, and protecting human health. This interactive project reached over 400 kids and will have a lasting impact on their understanding of sustainable agriculture.