March 2017 Garden and Wellness Update

March was another busy month for the Alliance Garden and Wellness Programs. Zumba is taking off, drawing 11 participants to our most recent session, the garden made it through a brief cold snap last week, and our Spring Seed to Supper Course with the Interfaith Food Shuttle has begun!

Garden Goods

Not too surprisingly the weather switched back to Winter again just before the Equinox on March 20th. With the help of row cover and some leaves we bundled up our veggies and only lost a few chard plants and some radishes. Many of our overanxious strawberry buds made it through the freezing temps. Otherwise our peas, lettuce, chard, are very happy and taking off to provide awesome nutrition, and education to our patients this Spring! Big thanks to our volunteers from Vintage Church and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority!

Beyond the cold we've planted 25 new Asparagus plants which will live 20+ years in the garden. We've even gotten some Alliance staff to get outside and get their hands dirty with some planting projects in the Garden.

Get Involved: Garden Launch April 8th 9am-12pm

Come see these beautiful veggies up close and personal. Volunteer at our Annual Garden Launch and Community Picnic on April 8th. We'll be working on some fun planting, construction and painting projects and blessing the garden for the year to come! RSVP as an individual or group here: RSVP Garden Launch

The Wonders of Wellness

It's been exciting to see our Wellness program growing and regaining its momentum in 2017. The Million Step Challenge is well underway in its fourth week and going great. Zumba is growing each week and we anticipate it becoming a permanent program for our patients! Perhaps most exciting is how patients have been able to expand on their investment in their health by going from one program to the next. 2 of our Cooking Matters Graduates are now in the Seed to Supper Class and almost all of our Zumba dancers want to enroll in the next Cooking Matters Course. We're so excited to be a place where people can connect with one another and make time for themselves to be healthy.

Million Step Challenge and Walk with a Doc

We're 4 weeks in to the challenge and we can't wait for the next 12. Many of the walkers are already reporting weight loss and have been able to connect with and support each other in getting their steps in every day. The leader board features  walkers hitting at or near 20,000 steps EACH DAY. That's 10 miles! Our Saturday Walks have been going great too and we're excited to see them grow as temps rise. Come join in the fun every 1st, 2nd, and last Saturday of each month at 10am at Alliance!

Zumba Creates Community at Alliance

It's been amazing to see community grow around our new Zumba class. The class is primarily attended by Spanish Speaking women who now get to catch up week over a 45 minute Zumba session. We're so grateful for our bi-lingual volunteer instructor Paula who helps foster these connections. Although there are only 2 weeks left in our current series we're already planning the next one and possibly expanding the program to include a strength training session after the Zumba class.

Growing Gardeners at Alliance

This month we started our newest class of future Raleigh gardeners in the Interfaith Food Shuttle's Seed to Supper Course. Through this partnership we are able to host the class for 3 Alliance Patients and about 10 others from the surrounding community. Our 3 participants (2 Cooking Matters Grads and one hopeful) will soon have their own garden plots in the Alliance Community Garden!

Thanks for your support and for reading. Please reach out if you'd like to find yourself more involved at Alliance!

We're excited about all the good work ahead and we hope you are too.

Jesse Crouch
Garden & Wellness Program Coordinator
Alliance Medical Ministry
101 Donald Ross Dr. Raleigh, NC 27610 
office: (919) 250-3320 x436