Tomorrow we will be installing and planting a community garden at the St. Paul Midway YMCA on University Avenue in St. Paul. The garden will be made up of 40 fabric, raised-bed boxes and will be an educational and community garden, tended by children in the Y’s childcare and day-camp programs and adult community volunteers.
The project begins at 9 a.m. when volunteers will be assembling the 40 raised-bed kits, donated through the MSHS Garden-in-a-Box program. The kits include fabric, 3-by-4-foot boxes, soil and vegetable plants. By 10:30 a.m., we hope to be planting out the boxes with the vegetables. Community members are encouraged to join us for the installation — and bring garden tools, if you have them!
Garden-in-a-Box is one of MSHS’s most successful and rewarding programs, and it has been a true collaboration between the society, businesses, community groups and lots and lots of volunteer gardeners. The goal of the Garden-in-a-Box program is simple: To introduce people to the joys and benefits of gardening. Community gardeners eat healthy, locally grown food; enjoy fresh air and exercise; and meet their fellow gardeners, often forming bonds that strengthen communities immeasurably.
The Midway garden will be called a Community Teaching Giving Garden, and it will be used to introduce the 130 children, ages 3 to 12, who are at the Y regularly to gardening. Food grown in the garden will be shared with families of the children, about 90 percent of whom live below the poverty line, as well as with people at the Open Hands Community Food Shelf.
The supporters and volunteers involved in this new garden are almost too many to name, but we’re going to try. Volunteers include members of the Y, the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club and Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also provided funds for the Y to purchase stock tanks for large display gardens that will surround the garden boxes. The garden was designed by the landscape architecture team at Cuningham Group, a multi-disciplinary design firm.
The Garden-in-a-Box program is funded in part by: General Mills Foundation, HealthPartners yumPower, Gannett Foundation, Land O’Lakes, St. Paul Garden Club as well as individual donors. The program also gets wonderful support from vendors, including CreekSide Soil, Farmer Seed and Nursery, Wagner Greenhouses and Easy Growin’. Without the support from these folks, we would not be able to provide the kits and educational components that are so important to community groups and schools.
To continue to support the program, MSHS is selling cedar raised-bed garden boxes for $109.99. These are beautiful raised beds and a portion of the price supports the program. For more information on the Garden-in-a-Box program, visit our website or contact Vicky Vogels, our community outreach coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.