Raised beds 2016Just like the first robins we spot each year, the planting of raised garden beds at Perry Wellness Center is a sign that spring has arrived. We began the beds a couple of years ago through a grant with Agrium International. Overseeing these bountiful little vegetable gardens has become a favorite project of many peers at the center.

“This learning experience of our peers has been great for both staff and for those peers who enjoy learning the process of planting and product cultivation,” said Phyllis Smith, the market manager at Rudy’s Happy Patch.

Before the raised beds are planted each season, peers are briefed on the proper selection of seeds in relation to the levels of shade and sun the beds receive. The beds are then prepared to enrich the soil, and finally seeds and young plants are arranged in the fertile beds. We obtain most of our young plants and seeds from Farmers Feed and Seed.

After the beds are planted, peers attend a class on plant maintenance. After all, getting the seeds in the ground is only half the battle! Peers learn about proper watering, care, and harvesting of plants at maturity.

The last step in the process is the arrival of the harvested vegetables at the market. Proceeds from the sold veggies are returned to the peers who grew them.

Miss Phyllis concluded, “This planting and harvesting may be one of the most fun and educational things we do in the spring.”

In the above photo, Laurie Slaton, left, readies a raised bed with the assistance of Jantwan Twiggs and staff member Chelsea Hodges.

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