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Healthy Day in Huntington marks end of 90-day challenge with fun, food

Apr. 03, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — If you give a man a head of broccoli, you feed him for a day. Give a man seeds and teach him to grow his own broccoli, and you can feed him year-round.

That’s the message from Donna Rumbaugh, owner of Perennial Favorites, one of several dozen vendors who signed up and participated in the Healthy Day in Huntington festivities at Pullman Square on Saturday.

“The activity of gardening is not only a healthy thing to do, but you can grow healthy foods, too, even in very small spaces,” said Rumbaugh, whose business includes two greenhouses and landscaping services. “In a 4-foot by 20-foot space, you can grow enough to feed a family of four for the entire summer. And, it’s cheaper, too.”

That type of information — aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles — was widespread at Saturday’s event. It featured a variety of healthful Tri-State offerings including Healthy Life Market, Yellow Goat Farm and West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, and fitness demonstrations ranging from martial arts to Zumba.

Healthy Day in Huntington, sponsored by Ebenezer Medical Outreach, kicked off with a 5K walk/race, which drew nearly 200 participants.

The event marked the end of the latest 90-Day Challenge issued by the Huntington Health Revolution, a coalition of groups promoting better health. The 90-Day Challenge is a health initiative for individuals and families to implement small, daily changes to improve their diet, fitness and well-being.

Rumbaugh joined the crowd at Pullman with potted herbs, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and spent part of the day offering advice to would-be gardeners.

“I think most people are terrified to try it, but it’s not difficult,” she said, adding that tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are some of the easiest plants to start with. “If you have a little bit of ground and some advice from a gardener or farmer, you learn the rest by just doing it.”

Yvonne Jones, executive director of Ebenezer Medical Outreach, said she was pleased with how the event turned out.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, and I think a lot of people were just wanting to see what we were all about,” she said. “We had a great turnout for the race, people exercising, people milling around. It’s been a great and successful day.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward the continued development of the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH), a 26-mile walking and shared-road trail that will encompass almost every part of Huntington.