After Winter, Must Come Spring

A change is coming, and our earth lets us knowWe may carry some of winter with us; our losses and grief from last year have been numerousbut as gardeners and farmers we see what emerges from the dark soils – life.  

The cycles of life and death, everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature helps our spirits – gardening does thisGardening allows us time to reflect, connect, and share. It is an activity that nourishes the soul.  

Did you know? 

The benefits of gardening include: 

  • Improved physical health, emotional wellbeing, and social interaction- all positive ways to work through challenging times.  
  • Exposure to good bacteria and boosting your immune system.1 
  • Charity and Hope! The act of growing and giving flowers and vegetables to family, friends, and those in need is often the most precious gift 
  • Gardening is also good for the health of our communities – studies show how community gardens can help us develop supportive networks when things get tough.2  

Gardening mixes the need to nurture and be nurtured. If you have ever planted a seed and watched it grow to fruit – you know what I mean. If you don’t and want to get started planting – start exploring by checking out an almanac for beginners: https://bit.ly/3w7IdeG!  Who doesn’t like to play in the dirt?  Let’s get digging! 

The Farm at St. Joe’s provides space for hospital staff to tend to the land and one another. If you are interested in volunteering or learning about our other programs, visit: https://stjoesfarm.org/ 

Come volunteer with us! FarmVolunteers@stjoeshealth.org

How do I start a garden? 

The Basics of Planting and Growing a Vegetable Garden? – By Catherine Boeckmann – 2/2021 

https://www.almanac.com/vegetable-gardening-for-beginners 

 Getting Started in Cut-Flowers – by Debra Prinzing, SlowFlowers.com, Johnny Seeds 2021 

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/flowers/getting-started-in-cut-flowers-top-15-cuts.html 

How do I involve my community? 

Effective Community Engagement – By Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Lori Brewer, and Bobby Smith II (Cornell Garden Based Learning) 

https://gardening.cals.cornell.edu/program-tools/planning-organizing/effective-community-engagement/ 

Who can I contact in my area? 

Local Harvest – www.localharvest.org 

Put in your location and you can find community gardens, local farms, farmers markets and more. 

USDA Community Garden Guide – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mipmcot9407.pdf 

Resources 

Liz is a Registered Nurse who has worked in diverse health care environments in triage care, community health and rehabilitation. Her passion for facilitating educational and therapeutic experiences in the outdoors has led her to horticultural therapy where she designs and facilitates garden-based therapeutic programming to increase human health and wellbeing. Concurrent passions for community health and gardening/farming brought Liz to The Farm at St. Joe’s in the role of Farm Program Manager. She is a passionate gardener and has worked on a number of farms, cultivating health and community through plants. 

Community Gardens

Hospital Staff Community Garden and the Growing Compassion Garden

community garden 3-30-2020

We are living Trinity Health’s commitment to being a transforming healing presence in our community. The land that we grow on is crucial in this process. On our Farm we have a Staff Community Garden and the Growing Compassion Garden, both started and led by dedicated St. Joe’s staff volunteers. St. Joe’s staff and retired staff can sign up to tend a garden plot and for those who’d rather play with flowers – we’ll meet you in the Growing Compassion Garden!

Grow Your Own Food at The Farm at St. Joe’s

Have you always wanted to try your hand at growing a vegetable garden? Or, maybe you’re an expert gardener, but your yard is too shady? Then join with fellow St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor staff and retirees at the Staff Community Garden at The Farm at St. Joe’s!

This space provides physical and mental wellbeing through the food that’s grown and the relationships formed between fellow gardeners. The garden is a large area with individual plots for employees to grow their own vegetables at low cost, plus a training workshop for first-time gardener s(see below for details).

The garden provides a opportunity to grow vegetables for your family, friends, and office mates across the street from where you work. Mentoring is on-going for those who wish to have a knowledgeable resource. Come join us!

Details for 2021:

Garden plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the spring.  There is a fee to cover the use of the plot for the summer, which covers compost, water, pathway, and fence maintenance. First year gardeners are required to pay a refundable deposit of $20 in the form of a separate payment/check.  There is a workday to prepare plots and add compost in the spring. Checks should be made out to “St. Joseph Mercy Hospital”.

 

Standard plot: 10′ x 10′  or 10′ x 9′  The cost is $15*

Medium plot: 10′ x 12′  The cost is $20*

Large plot:      10′ x 15′  The cost is $25*.  We ask that experienced gardeners or groups of people who are committed to maintaining their plot sign-up for this size.

*plus a refundable deposit of $20 for first year gardeners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signing up for 2021: You may sign-up as an individual or as a group. If you are a group, we ask that one person registers and pays for the plot.

  • First come, first served: Registration will open in the spring, there will likely be a waiting list
  • There are a limited number of plots.
  • One plot per person/group.
  • Note: Gardeners must be staff or retirees who work(ed) at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor at the time of signing-up.
  • To register, contact the Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland  Rozelle.Copeland@stjoeshealth.org 
  • If space is available, you will then be asked to provide:
    • Payment for the plot
    • Deposit (if new to the garden)
    • A signed Garden Plot Rental Agreement with signed liability waivers for all ‘helpers’

Opening: This depends on the weather and our ability to prep the soil. Dates typically range from the last week of April to mid-May.

Closing: Gardens must be cleaned up by Nov 15th.

For more information or if you have questions please contact the Community Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland (Rozelle.Copeland@stjoeshealth.org)

Introduction to Gardening Class:   

DATE: TBD

This class is for the new gardener who is looking for information on how to get started. Rozelle Copeland, the Garden Coordinator, will cover a variety of topics including:

  • what to expect
  • figuring out what and how much to plant
  • how to plant
  • heirloom vs. hybrid
  • tips for tomatoes

Location of the Staff Community Garden:   The Farm at St. Joe’s 5557 McAuley Dr., Ypsilanti, MI,  Staff garden plots are outside.

Staff Community Garden in early spring

 

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Growing Compassion Garden

Bee of close-up sunflower
The Growing Compassion Garden is a program that brings a powerful healing presence to St Joseph Mercy Hospital through a joyful and beautiful dose of nature: flowers.  This is an employee-run project to give flowers to hospitalized patients who are alone and in need, as well as to locations frequented by patients. The flowers are lovingly grown by our Farm team and Hospital staff who volunteer their time to plant, nurture, weed, pick and deliver the flowers to designated Departments and areas throughout the Hospital.

Staff volunteers grow the flowers at The Farm at St. Joe’s, design bouquets using recycled jars collected from employees, and then deliver them. We are honored to have this opportunity to enhance our remarkable care with remarkable compassion, providing a healing presence within our Hospital and to those inpatients who are facing a significant health concern alone.

This program is in it’s 5th year and our goal is to get more staff volunteers interested in supporting the program so that it can be expanded and include more direct inpatient deliveries.

  Wheel barrow \

Cosmos and zinnias

Volunteers are needed for the following:

  • Pick and deliver flowers weekly to a designated patient location(s)
  • Plant flowers in the Spring
  • Water and weed the flower beds at The Farm

This is a rewarding commitment.  The amount of time can be small or large depending upon the task.  Current volunteers share that they feel joy in simply being of service to those in need.  Indeed, it is easy to observe the how flowers  impact visitors coming to an information desk, patients sitting in a waiting room, and people walking through a public lobby.  Living beauty is transforming and healing.

If interested, please contact:

Growing Compassion Gardener: Rozelle Copeland Rozelle.Copeland@stjoeshealth.org

 IMG_4021      
Sunflowers                                                                     Strawflowers

* COVID-19 garden protocols – our community garden spaces are following safe gardening and physical distancing practices with an outside hand washing station and regular sanitation of shared tools. 

Ann Arbor Staff Community Garden

Grow Your Own Food at The Farm at St. Joe’s

Garden summer 2016 d sunset

Garden spring 2016 b

Have you always wanted to try your hand at growing a vegetable garden? Are you looking for a place close to work with comradery and advice about how to start gardening? Or, maybe you’re an expert gardener, but your yard is too shady? Then join with fellow St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor staff and retirees at the Staff Community Garden at The Farm at St. Joe’s!

Garden summer 2016 c

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor staff and retirees will be able to sign-up for a garden plot on a first come, first served basis this spring.

For a fee to cover the use of the plot for the summer, SJMHS staff gardeners will get a composted, tilled plot in a communal, fenced-in area with sustainable paths and access to water.  There is a workday to add the compost– see below.  The garden is located outside, near the hoop houses at The Farm at St. Joe’s.

Details for 2019:

Standard plot: 10′ x 10′  or 10′ x 9′  The cost is $15 plus a refundable deposit of $15 (total $30).

Medium plot: 10′ x 12′  The cost is $20 plus a refundable deposit of $25 (total $45).

Large plot: 10′ x 15′  The cost is $25 plus a refundable deposit of $35 (total $60). We ask that experienced gardeners or groups of people who are committed to maintaining their plot sign-up for this size.

Garden summer squash 2016 f  Garden early spring 2016 g

 

 

 

 

Signing up for 2019: You may sign-up as an individual or as a group. However, when registering we ask that one person registers and pays for the plot.

  • There are a limited number of plots.
  • One plot per person.
  • Note: Gardeners must be staff or retirees who work(ed) at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor at the time of signing-up.
  • Refunds of the deposit will be provided to gardeners that clean-out their plot in the Fall.
  • First come, first served: Registration will open in the spring
  • Contact the Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland  Rozelle.Copeland@stjoeshealth.org for questions

Deposit:  Checks for the deposit should be made out to “St. Joseph Mercy Hospital”.

The deposit and a signed Employee Community Garden Contract (see below) will be collected at 1) orientation for gardeners new to the Staff Community Garden or 2) by the Garden Coordinator, for those who are returning to the Garden.

Orientation to the Staff Garden (required for  gardeners new to the Farm):        To participate you must attend one of the orientation dates. Orientation will last 20 min and will include a tour of the Farm, a review of the governing rules, and a chance to meet Amanda and Rozelle.  Bring a deposit. Orientation will be scheduled at the Farm (5557 McAuley Dr.), TBD at 4pm. After you sign-up for a garden plot, information will be send to you regarding the orientation.

Garden early a 2016

Opening: This depends on the weather and our ability to prep the soil.   Dates typically range from the last week of April to mid-May.

Closing: Gardens must be cleaned up by Nov 15th.

Here is the Employee Community Garden Contract for 2019:

Coming soon!

For more information or if you have questions please contact the Community Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland (Rozelle.Copeland@stjoeshealth.org)

Community Staff Garden Workday: Date TBD– Thurs at 4pm in April or early May.  This workday will be to place a layer of compost over the garden and till it into the soil.  This will prepare the beds for planting and help grow strong, big plants.

Intro to Gardening Training (optional):  Date TBD.  This class is for the those new to gardening who are looking for information on how to get started. Rozelle Copeland, the Garden Coordinator, will cover a variety of topics, including: heirloom vs. hybrid, what to expect, figuring out what and how much to plant, how to plant, and tips for tomatoes.

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Building the SJMHS Staff Community Garden

In the Spring of 2016 on sunny Saturday afternoon a few of the staff who signed-up for a plot, other volunteers, and Amanda, the Farmer, gathered to helped build the Staff Community Garden.  Later, after the fence was put in and paths were laid down, staff  got started on planting.

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Staff Community Garden in the Winter

Here is what the garden looked like in March 2017.   That is the Reichert Health Center Building in the background.