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Straight off the vine: Newberry County 4-H grows fresh tomatoes

The Newberry County 4-H will be at tomorrow's Grow Newberry Farmers Market selling the produce they learned to grow themselves as part of the Tomato Project.

NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. — Newberry County 4-H members are busy getting ready for the Grow Newberry Farmers Market.

They have been hard at work on the Tomato Project. Tomorrow, market visitors will get to see how well it has paid off.

The 4-H Members will be ink  Memorial Parselling fresh tomato sandwiches from 9am - 12pm. The proceeds will go to the 4-H to help fund future projects, camps and leadership programs said Newberry County 4-H Agent Alana West.

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West taught the children how to plant, fertilize and grow their very own tomatoes.

"You can’t beat a fresh grown tomato," West said. "They taste very different out of your garden or a farmer’s market than they do from a store where they might ship from somewhere else."

As a part of the project, 4-H members keep records of what's happening to their tomatoes, such as whether or not it rained. Not only does this help teach them the valuable skills of record-keeping, West said, but it also shows them where their food comes from.

7-year-old Barrett Havird has a large garden of his own. He has grown up learning how to cultivate crops. Tomatoes are his most recent project.  

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Havird said while he likes learning how to care for the plants, his favorite part is easy to choose:

"Eating 'em," he said.

The 4-H members have learned how to prepare the produce in different ways. Whether it's salsa, sandwiches or just eating them straight off the vine, West said the kids see all that goes into their food.

"When they grow it themselves, they’re more likely to taste it. And fresh food is hard to find for some people but if we can get it to people and get our kids to eat it, it’s a win-win situation," West said.

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