Now I have been hearing lots of unhappiness about all the rain we are getting and the associated humidity. But I can tell you that the farmers and gardeners among us are very very happy for all the rain. It is really giving all the fruits and veggies a great start this season! Just look at how are gardens grow.....
Oh and by the way, where we placed the garden is a spot that the deer like to frequent. But thanks to good advice from Sherry Frick from UMD Extension and hard work by Terry Beck, everything is safe behind our 8 foot fence! Just look!! -Jo
Each time I go to the Williams Street Community Garden, I am taken by surprise at how much each plant and flower has grown since my last visit!! The tomatoes already have babies on them, as do the strawberries and peppers. I can't bring myself to eat these!! And things that I really could not tell apart are now growing up into onions, lettuce, broccoli, celery and all kinds of delicious things. Our fruit trees are growing straight and tall thanks to the placement of stakes by our own Sam Hershberger III, who works in dietary. Cages that in the beginning dwarfed the baby tomato plants are now so covered in growth that you almost can’t see them!!
I am struck by a sense of peace and satisfaction when watering and weeding that often alludes me with other tasks that aren’t so easily completed in my regular work day. When I talk to the plants…I’m not exactly saying they talk back but just sometimes I hear answers that make a lot of sense.
Any way ,last week Tara and I went on a great adventure. We visited several potential sites (photos below) for the future growing seasons to add to the Williams Street location. At one of the places I saw a SNAKE!!! Hard to say who was more scared…me or the snake. But we both quickly ran away from each other so there was no need to call 911 for either of us!! The City again is coming up trumps for us as a terrific partner. They suggested two former play grounds. The first is at the top of Pine Street. The second site sits above CMG on Fairmont Ave. Both looked like excellent locations. One of the things Tara and I want to do next year is make a garden area that is accessible for people in wheelchairs or who use walkers and for people that can’t easily bend down. Either of these would work out perfectly. We also have some plans for the 2017 growing season as well, but it is a little early to talk about that…it is just a seedling of an idea right now!! LOL!!!
Of course, we will be reaching out to our community partners for help and advice, and we plan on widening our circle of partners going forward. And we also have found that there are a lot of grants out there for community G\gardens and we are going to get assistance from Katie Gattens, who works for the WMHS Foundation and is a champion grant writer. We also continue to think of ways to involve the younger community and have some thoughts to partner with some of the local schools. So as our garden grows, so do our ideas for making our community a healthier place to live and work!!
Jennifer Thomas in our Community Health and Wellness Department is working on a project to encourage people to get out and walk and to take a picture of themselves walking. More information at #makewalkingeasy.
Similarly, our local Animal Shelter was working on a project to get people to come and walk shelter dogs through Wooftrax, which actually donates money to shelters that participate. And GUESS WHAT??? Jennifer got together with Tina Rafferty, Executive Director of the Shelter, and the two programs are going to work together!! So if you would like to take a shelter dog with you on your walk you can do that. The Shelter has a trail you can walk or you can take your picked pooch (not to be confused with a pickled pepper!) with you and walk on the C&O Canal or the Great Allegheny Passage or around Downtown Cumberland. Anywhere you would like...just don't forget to take a picture of you and your dog pal walking, as well as to take a poop bag with you in case your new dog pal gets excited!!
So as you can see, we have some wonderful ways to get our communities to grow healthier...not just by what we choose to eat but also by what we choose to do!! Have a good one!!