Barre Family Health Center "Wellness Garden"
by Marco Cornelio, MD, PGY-3
In an effort to promote healthy eating in the community and amongst its staff members, the Barre Family Health Center recently created an organic "Wellness Garden" on its property.
Back in May, a local community member dug up a 40x30 foot area next to the health center and filled it with donated loom. The loom was mixed with cow manure that was donated from a dairy farm owned by one of the nurses. In the beginning of June, several residents and staff members spent the day together planting seedlings & seeds. Some of the vegetables now growing include tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, string beans, squash, corn, pumpkins, spinach, and herbs.
Vegetables from the garden are now available for staff members to consume during work hours and are given to patients when they attend their appointments. The garden is also being used to teach healthy eating during the health center's group visits for patents with diabetes.
As the garden grows, the health center plans to incorporate the community more into the project and offer public activities that will encourage healthy eating throughout the year. Activities already being planned include workshops on canning & preserving vegetables, as well as how to start home gardens.
A Facebook page has also been created for the garden with the intention of linking patients closer to the health center. The page contains links to information for healthy eating and will be used to update patients about events occurring at the health center.
For more information and pictures search the "Barre Family Health Center Wellness Garden" on Facebook.
The author at right taking a close look at a resident of the new garden.