With the popularity and huge success, we thought we’d check in to see how everybody’s favorite garden is doing this year! Here is what Francis had to say:
What is currently planted in the garden?
This year we have less variety but have increased the amount that was planted. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, and hot peppers. Our plan is to make salsa with the tomatoes and hot peppers because of last year’s success. We also have several rows of decorative corn which will be used in the fall to make wreathes.
What was the initial inspiration for starting the garden?
It was my hope that by planting this garden it would foster a spirit of creativity with the clients, to educate them about sustainable food sources, and most importantly provide an educational opportunity to teach clients healthier eating habits. According to the CDS (Center for Disease Control, 2008), there is a 36% obesity rate amongst adult individuals with a disability compared to 23% of adults without disabilities.
What skills are clients learning being involved with this project?
- follow through on tasks
- using simple tools
- maintaining a schedule
How many people are involved with the planting and upkeep of the garden?
Currently we have over 20 clients involved with the maintenance of the garden which includes watering, weeding and harvesting the produce. Staff in the Creativity Unlimited program have been a tremendous help in keeping the garden watered as well as encouraging clients to work in the garden. Other staff also help with maintenance and inspection of plants to determine when they will be ready to harvest.
Here’s what clients/staff involved in the project had to say:
This year we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. We sold them to the public and to staff. We also made salsa and pesto too! The flower gardens were wonderful to look at. They added color and dimension to our landscape out in back of the main building where the client lunch area is located. We also planted Indian corn to make fall docorations to sell. Sunflowers were great fun to watch grow. These tall friends were a fun attraction for finches to feed on. We all had a great learning experience working with our garden and planting flowers!
If you have any questions about the garden, or would like to volunteer time or materials, contact Francis at (765) 284-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.