Grow Eat Live!

Questions & Answers with Carolyn Sanford, CMG volunteer and program coordinator


What made you start the Grow Eat Live Community Garden?

I have wanted to start a community garden for a few years to increase awareness of eating fresh and healthy foods as well as sharing my love of gardening. With the obesity epidemic in our children and adults I thought it could give our community tools to improve their health by eating more nutritious foods and increasing their physical activity as well. The model of people working together in the garden can also lower stress levels and build relationships with others. After going through the Master Gardener program in 2013 I acquired tools to start the garden at our health department. Without the Master Gardener volunteers this program would not have been possible. Their support has been tremendous in growing this new program!










 What are the program goals?

Promoting health by increasing awareness of eating healthy is the primary goal of this recent program. We want to also teach participants how to start a garden as well as serving as a visual model for gardening. We encourage participants to pick vegetables and work in the garden with others which assists in their learning about growing a variety of different plants.

What accomplishment were you most proud of in this first year of the program?

To see the fruits of our many hours of work by Master Gardeners and volunteers come to fruition in a bountiful crop of tomatoes as well as the positive responses from clientele who were given "home grown" tomatoes and cucumbers. Being able to provide a vegetable to clients who might rarely eat fresh vegetables and inspiring them to grow their own.                 

What is your vision for the future?

To be the seed that inspires others to plant a garden so that their future might be healthier.

2016 Highlights

Grow. Eat. Live, "Be A Helping Hand" launched its first program at the Chesapeake Health Department with teaching how to plant a container Salsa Garden and share what can be harvested before tilling and spring planting. Watch the Chesapeake Master Gardener Facebook page for the next invitation and more photos! This was followed by the Second Annual Tomato Festival with live music by Low Maintenance for additional entertainment during this educational program, with food sampling delicious recipes.

Cold Frame introduction and demonstration was included in the program on October 26, 2016.

Screenshot 2016-10-05 18.04.26

There is always more to come! 

                                           CMG GrowEatLive LateJune
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Located at the Chesapeake Health Department (located behind the Chesapeake Regional Hospital)
748 Battlefield Blvd N
Chesaspeake, VA 23320
Call 757-382-8655 for more information
Virginian-Pilot Article by Nita Baines on the 2nd Annual Tomato Festival at CHD


Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.