Southwest harvest for health: An adapted mentored vegetable gardening intervention for cancer survivors

Academic Article


  • Harvest for Health is a home-based vegetable gardening intervention that pairs cancer survivors with Master Gardeners from the Cooperative Extension System. Initially developed and tested in Alabama, the program was adapted for the different climate, growing conditions, and population in New Mexico. This paper chronicles the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of “Southwest Harvest for Health”. During the nine-month single-arm trial, 30 cancer survivor-Master Gardener dyads worked together to establish and maintain three seasonal gardens. Primary outcomes were accrual, retention, and satisfaction. Secondary outcomes were vegetable and fruit (V and F) intake, physical activity, and quality of life. Recruitment was diverse and robust, with 30 survivors of various cancers, aged 50–83, roughly one-third minority, and two-thirds females enrolled in just 60 days. Despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retention to the nine-month study was 100%, 93% reported “good-to-excellent” satisfaction, and 87% “would do it again.” A median increase of 1.2 servings of V and F/day was documented. The adapted home-based vegetable gardening program was feasible, well-received, and resulted in increased V and F consumption among adult cancer survivors. Future studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this program and to inform strategies to increase the successful implementation and further dissemination of this intervention.
  • Published In

  • Nutrients  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2901351
  • Author List

  • Blair CK; Adsul P; Guest DD; Sussman AL; Cook LS; Harding EM; Rodman J; Duff D; Burgess E; Quezada K
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 7