Healthy Eating in Door County
We have a Community’s Garden across the street from the hospital – it’s on eight acres of land and it has about 35/36 plots, and what we do is we rent out those plots to community members, other non-profit organizations such as the YMCA, UW Extension, the Boys and Girls Club … and throughout the summer people are encouraged to come and plant their seeds, to weed and water their garden, then harvest the vegetables at the end of the year.
We also provide educational programs on-site at the garden. Those classes are called “Food for Health,” and they meet weekly and provide instruction to community members on how to go about growing a garden, taking care of a garden and then harvesting the produce at the end of the year.
The Community’s Garden has a board of directors comprised of different organizations throughout the community. The partners along with the hospital are the Crossroads at Big Creek, the YMCA and the UW-Extension. We all meet about one a month to talk about the ongoing maintenance of the garden, promotion of the garden, how can we get the word out to our community that we have these lots available, and also provide those healthy instruction and classes to the community.
The benefit of having a Community’s Garden is that it reduces the family food budget, it provides nutritious, locally grown produce and food to food pantries that we have here in our local area. We also use some of the food harvested for our own patients and visitors, and it is also a good way for us to teach and to have children come on-site and learn where their food comes from and what it takes to grow their own food. When they grow their own food, they are more likely to eat it.
Published October 2014