Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep quickinars promote gardening and healthy eating

Sunday, May 10, 2020

SIOUX CITY — For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased food preparation and mealtime at home, as well as sparked renewed interest in gardening and food preservation.

In response to this movement, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach has launched weekly Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep quickinars to provide information to gardeners of all ages and skill levels.

The quickinars are 5 to 15-minute online lessons of seasonally appropriate topics for the garden, food preparation and food preservation.

“The quickinars — quick webinars — provide timely information related to growing, preparing and preserving your own food,” said Renee Sweers, human sciences specialist in nutrition and wellness with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Sweers said that some of the upcoming Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep topics include garden preparation; container gardening; cool weather crops, such as lettuce, spinach and peas; strawberry freezer jam; scouting for garden pests; garden care basics; and produce safety.

“Gardening and growing one’s own food provides many benefits,” Sweers said. “Children to adults are presented with learning opportunities related to math and science. Additional benefits include increased Vitamin D and sun exposure; decreased risk of dementia; and increased physical activity and aerobic activity which can help to reduce stress. Pulling weeds, reaching for tools, twisting and bending can all help build strength, stamina and flexibility.”

Sweers also reminds individuals that gardening and producing one’s own food is not limited to those with a large yard.

Container gardening can be done on an eight-foot balcony, if proper materials are used and plants are cared for.

To learn more about Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep and to view the weekly quickinars as they happen, visit

In addition, questions about food and gardening can be sent to

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