The current vegetable bounty at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market has roots (pun intended!) in both on- and off-site efforts. Offsite, several local farmers and home gardeners provide fresh produce to Perry Wellness Center, which we in turn sell at our market. One of our biggest draws these days is Chase Farm sweet corn.
Market manager Phyllis Smith notes, “With the availability of famous Chase corn, we enjoy welcoming eager customers who wish to experience the best of area grown vegetables.”
In addition to showcasing local produce vendors, the market also benefits from the efforts of staff and peers on site. In addition to growing many green and flowering plants, we also produce much of our own produce, from year-round tomatoes to seasonal vegetables.
Peers can also sell produce grown on site in their own raised garden beds. Thanks to the grant funding previously secured from Agrium, on campus there are a total of 14 raised garden beds that were built last year. After learning proper techniques for planting, watering, cultivating and harvesting of fresh vegetables from these beds, peers then have the opportunity to sell their harvests through the market.
Founder Stuart Perry is a big fan of the Agrium project, saying, “These raised beds have been a great learning experience for our peers and staff. It has been a win-win situation.”
Many talented peers are responsible for the successful upkeep of the many gardens on the Perry Wellness Center campus. In the photo above, peer Michael Harper joins staff member Chloe Harper, peer Laurie Slaton and market manager Phyllis Smith in a morning check of Laurie’s raised garden bed.