Garden and Wellness Report Fall 2016


Late Fall Garden Updates

Pounds of produce harvested this year to date: 2,170!

It's been an interesting Fall in the Garden! Unusually warm temperatures have kept our plants growing late into the season. The frost has come, but many brave veggie endured the nights in the low 20s, including our spinach, kale, turnips, and arugula, providing essential nutrients to our patients.

Thank you to our late Fall garden volunteers:

Church on Morgan

Crosspointe Men's Group

Edenton Street United Methodist Church

With their help we've installed our new irrigation system, planted fall vegetables, and prepared the garden for the Winter months.

New Pollinator Garden Installed

Boy Scout Griffin Bensen led fellow scouts in his Eagle Scout project -- designing and installing a pollinator garden!  Among the pollinator plants found in our new garden are climbing aster, purple coneflower, St. John's Wort, and Butterfly weed.  These plants will help attract bees and local pollinating insects to our garden.

Exciting plans for 2017!

While the garden is resting this winter, we are gearing up to plant more blueberry bushes, a small strawberry patch, and asparagus in the garden come Spring.  

We are excited to announce that we are bringing BEES to the Alliance Garden! Alice Hinman, founder of Apiopolis, is providing support to bring two bee colonies to the Alliance Community Garden in April! 

Late Fall Wellness News

Chair Yoga

Yoga continues to be a great and popular program for patients and is held every Thursday evening in the clinic. Instructor Elise from "You Call this Yoga" incorporates mind, body, and spirit into her classes, giving patients stress relief, and an increased sense of value. The class is offered in English and Spanish.

Cooking Matters

We had a great Fall Cooking Matters Course, graduating eight students! These patients now have increased knowledge and abilities to use food as medicine for themselves, not to mention a new great group of friends. Big thanks to all of our volunteers that made the course possible! Our next course will begin January 23rd, 2017.

One of our favorite recipes was brought to us by volunteer Lori who led the class in making chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes and fruit smoothies. Here are the recipes for you to try at home:

Mediterranean Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Hummus Sauce

Vegan, Gluten-Free



4 large sweet potatoes, washed, ends trimmed, and then slightly halved

1 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

A drizzle of olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper, to taste


1/2 cup hummus

1/2 of a lemon, juiced

3 garlic cloves, minced

Fresh or dried parsley, for topping


1.      Preheat the oven to 400°F and line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Rub each of the potato halves with a bit of olive oil. Place each potato, cut side down on your baking sheet trying to keep them to one side.

2.      In a separate bowl, add your chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil, and spices. Mix to coat. Then, pour them out on the baking sheet (opposite the potatoes) and place in the oven. Roast until the potatoes are cooked completely through and the chickpeas are crunchy. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes to cool.

3.      While the sweet potato is cooling, mix the sauce together until thinned out and able to pour.

4.      Taking the back of a spoon, press down the centers a bit of each potato. Place on a serving platter and then add the chickpeas. Drizzle the sauce on top of each potato and serve.


Simple Green Smoothie


2-3 cups leafy green of choice (kale, spinach, arugula, mustard, turnip greens, radish greens etc.)

3-4 cups fruit (bananas, berries, oranges, apples, mango etc.)

1 cup water (add more or less to determine thickness)


Add ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Exciting Wellness Plans for 2017!

Walk With a Doc and the Million Step Challenge

Winter weather and early sunsets have Walk with a Doc on hold until our next meeting on February 23rd at 5:15pm.  Join us for a snack and good company on this 1.3 mile walk around the block, open to patients and community members!

This March, Alliance is excited to participate in the Million Step Challenge with WakeMed and other healthcare organizations! Thirty Alliance patients will participate to make up three teams of ten patients.  Each team will be led by one of our providers, Dr. Sheryl Joyner, Dr. Maggie Burkhead and Nurse Practitioner Laura Wasserman.  Each patient participant will receive a FitBit, with the goal of walking 10,000 steps each day to meet the Million Step Challenge!  Stay tuned in the New Year to find out more about the kick-off!


We're excited to be hosting our first zumba class on December 19th from 7:45-8:45pm.  The class will be low impact and appropriate for all fitness levels. No dancing experience or rhythm required!

Any zumba instructors interested in becoming involved at Alliance can contact the Wellness Coordinator at or 919-250-3320 x 436.