The Shaping Elizabeth Community Garden produces to nourish a community.
Not just healthy vegetables but the seeds of connections, education and a love of gardening has spread to the women in our sustainable housing program, their families and now to the children in our camp program.
So far this summer, fifteen 7-9 year old and fifteen 10-13 year old campers have experienced the joys of gardening with our partner from Groundwork Elizabeth Christine supplying education and guidance. They learned how to tend a garden and how to plant both seeds and seedlings for our new herb garden. Each week a different group of campers will be spending time in our garden. Best of all every camper took home fresh produce including: cucumbers, eggplants, garlic and tomatoes. They reported back that they shared with their families and everyone said it was “delicious”.
Our garden has produced over 75 cucumbers which have appeared in salads across Elizabeth and beyond, 10 eggplants some finding their way into the Ratatouille recipe supplied by the chef from Trinitas, many jalapeno peppers added a little “spice”, tomatoes in salads and eaten fresh from the garden, and a little garlic to brighten up any recipe. Produce has been shared with staff, members, residents, children and families, well over 100 people have had the pleasure of partaking from our bounty.
Mike from the Y has diligently been harvesting “dill” plants and we hope to supply seed for our garden next year as well as many gardens in Elizabeth. I have never seen garlic so big and beautiful. Sometimes the smells in our office are a delicious mix of dill, garlic and basil which make everyone very hungry.
Our garden has spread its seed and touched the lives of so many people in the Elizabeth Community. We look forward to harvesting the results of the health and well-being they will bring.