July 2017 Garden Update: Jesse Crouch, Garden & Wellness Coordinator

Summer is coming and going quickly in the Alliance Community Garden. With the warm temperatures, our cool season crops like swiss chard, beets, kale, collards, and lettuce have made their way out and made room for our flourishing tomatoes, okra, beans, cucumbers, watermelon, and peppers.

The garden has been an invaluable resource in our latest Cooking Matters classes. It has been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to introduce patients to healthy food just as it comes out of the ground and help forge a strong connection with food!

We are grateful to volunteers from groups including Crossroads Fellowship and Edenton Street United Methodist, and to those faithful individuals who lend their hand to harvest, weed, and water.

The award for biggest plants is a tie between our okra and tomatoes, both of which are stretching 7 feet up toward the sky and growing. I'll be needing a ladder soon to grab them!

My personal favorite vegetable to grow in the summer is okra. You'll find beautiful yellow and red flowers all over!  Once they are pollinated (by our very own honey bees!) they develop into the okra pods.

Although our tomatoes are a bit sick with 'early blight', a common fungus affecting the plant's leaves, we've already harvested about 230 pounds and anticipate another 200 before the season is done! So far this July we've harvested about 440 pounds of fresh, organically grown produce for our patients, pushing us past the 1,000 pound mark for the year! We're looking forward to a productive rest of the summer and fall.

Come dig in our garden!

Join us for our regular Garden Work Days. Learn a thing or two about our garden and bees and help provide fresh produce for our patients. RSVP or just drop in! garden@alliancemedicalministry.org

Second Saturdays, 9 am to 12 pm
August 12 / September 9 / October 14 / November 11

Fourth Wednesdays, 5 pm to 7 pm
August 23 / September 27 / October 25