How does our garden grow?
By Kim Whisenhunt, Operations Manager
Have you heard the buzz about eating healthier, especially fresh fruit and vegetables? Sounds simple, but have you noticed the prices? There’s a high price in both time and money! Tri-Lakes Cares is keen to provide healthy food options for our clients. We are fortunate to be able to shop at Care and Share for produce to stock our Help Yourself Market shelves. However, because there are limits on how much we can obtain, the Program Managers have been seeking ways to bring in more fresh produce. Clients have been so grateful when local gardeners shared their extra harvests with us. But is there a way that TLC could be part of the answer to the need for more fresh foods?
An opportunity presented itself last summer when Next Step Ministries contacted us, asking if TLC had a project their group of students could work on. We posed the idea of constructing a garden space on the south wall of our building. So Next Step brought groups of students, along with some experienced construction supervisors, to build garden bins attached to the wall and on the ground. So the first stage of the garden project was finished!
Early in 2018 the garden planning started. We are so grateful for the community groups and volunteers who have come forward to support this project! Monument Community Presbyterian Church offered to help with manpower, including Sherry, a master gardener who is providing expertise and direction. Vic, a new TLC volunteer, jumped in early on to help with garden prep and maintenance. A Palmer Ridge student, Jaydes, took on starting the plants from seed as a school project. When it was time to fill the garden boxes,McCord’s Garden Center donated the products to amend the soil. Cindy, a Palmer Lake resident, donated a composter so TLC, using leftover fruit and vegetables from the pantry, can produce good, rich compost.
The final piece was completed by Isaac, an Eagle Scout, who, along with 21 other volunteers, built a gated fence to protect the garden.
Once the seedlings were planted, including herbs donated by Cindi, volunteers adopted a regular watering and tending schedule. All the efforts are producing results! We look forward to offering green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, a variety of herbs, and more to our clients each week. We thank everyone who has helped to bring the resources together to make this garden a reality!