Orem Family Finds Health Benefits From Working In Their Community Garden

Aug 13, 2018, 10:59 AM

OREM — Four-year-old Jensen Conover knows the secret to gardening and how to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Each summer, he looks forward to eating fresh green beans and other produce right off the plant, all thanks to his parents, Michelle and Jason, who taught him how to work in the garden.

The Conovers have a family plot at Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well Garden in Orem. They said it helps them eat healthier.

“We get our fresh corn coming off here in a couple weeks,” Michelle Conover said. “Going back to fast food is disappointing.”

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Karyn Springer said teaching kids while they are young will help them establish good eating habits.

Michelle and Jason Conover said they eat healthier each year when they garden.

“If kids are participating in that [gardening], they tend to like what they’re growing and they will tend to eat,” she said.

Gardening also helps the family stay active outside.

“He finds bugs, he finds spiders, he runs around. He plays!” Jason Conover said of his son in the garden.

They brought Jensen’s bike to the garden and rode around the path next to the garden after they watered their plants and weeded.

Michelle credited the garden to helping her manage postpartum anxiety, which she first experienced after having Jensen.

“Get some sun, do some activity, and it’s helped me feel so much better already,” she explained.

Michelle and Jason Conover started their garden when their son Jensen was only 1-year-old. They document their kids next to the garden each year.

The Conovers said gardening also helps them connect with other families in the community.

“(We) interact with other people and see what their gardens are doing and learn from each other,” Jason Conover said.

Most of all, the Conovers enjoy watching their kids grow with their garden over the years.

“He gets bigger as the garden gets bigger. It’s so much fun to watch all of that happen,” Jason Conover described.

Anyone can apply for one of Intermountain’s free garden plots online. They give preference to families who live in an apartment or townhome and don’t have garden space of their own.

The Conovers typically spend only $20 to $40 on dirt and seeds each season.

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Orem Family Finds Health Benefits From Working In Their Community Garden