February 2017 Garden and Wellness Update

By Jesse Crouch, Garden & Wellness Coordinator

Community Garden Updates

We enjoyed the benefits of many 70+ degree days in February, sending the Alliance Community Garden into bloom!  We're a little weirded out, but the warmer temperatures haven't set back our radish, lettuce, and pea sprouts that are making their way into the world.  We're also celebrating the fact that our strawberry transplants are healthy and adjusting well to the garden! The deer seem to like to stroll through out strawberry and pea beds but we're just grateful they aren't grabbing a snack as well.

We do hope Father Winter didn't completely check out so that our spring crops like lettuce, arugula, and spinach don't just all go straight to seed. But if that happens, more tomatoes and squash!

1: Radish seedlings. 2. Pea sprouts and trellis. 3. Pea spouts. 4. Deer hoof prints in strawberry bed.


Good lookin' and cookin'

It's been a very busy month in the Wellness department! Cooking Matters has been a blast with our new students and we hosted our kickoff dinner for the Million Step Challenge Program.

Cooking Matters has been a hit with our new passionate students! It's been exciting learning more about nutrition facts, the importance fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, how much protein you need, what foods have to most protein! And all over amazing recipes like Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers, Veggie Fajitas, Sweet Potato Curry, and 3 bean Veggie Chili. We're excited for the remaining two weeks of the course.

The Million Step Challenge kickoff went off without a hitch! Seven Alliance Medical Ministry staff, five WakeMed staff, three N.C. State University Park Scholars, and five volunteers came together for a delicious meal and to enroll 31 Alliance patients in the Million Step Walking challenge!  

The Million Step Challenge officially begins on March 1, with the goal of achieving a million steps within 120 days.  Alliance will kick-off its Walk with a Doc program on Saturday, March 4 from 10-11 to enable our patient participants to "get their steps in".  Thanks to WakeMed for providing FitBits to all participants!  

We're excited to post updates as our physicians and their awesome teams of patients challenge other clinics and community groups over the next four months. Stay tuned!

Zumba is on the horizon at Alliance!  We're so grateful to have found a volunteer instructor to deliver a six-week course to our patients.  Zumba comes on the heels of a success SalsaFit program offered in Summer 2016.  

We're so very blessed, excited, and hopeful in 2017.  Each day, Alliance staff serves a community of the strongest and most wonderful people I've ever met. Thanks for your support and for reading this blog. Check us out in March. Things will be wilder yet! (also like us on facebook)

Stay groovy, Jesse Crouch, AmeriCorps Garden and Wellness Coordinator