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:!  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: 

Come volunteer with us!

How do I start a garden? 

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

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

How do I involve my community? 

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

Who can I contact in my area? 

Local Harvest – 

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

USDA Community Garden Guide – 


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. 

Need Help Getting Food?

The Farm at Trinity Health is currently offering a program to help meet the need for farm fresh local foods in our community.

Market Connection Program – qualifying families can get $100 in online store credit to use on the Ypsi Area Online Market to buy local fruits and vegetables and other staples.

Learn more and to register


If you are in immediate need for food, please call 2-1-1 to speak with a community advocate.

Need Help Getting Food?

We believe that everyone should have access to fresh, nutritious food. The Farm offers several programs that connect people to fresh, local produce, see below. We are also highlighting several other programs that offer free or low-cost connections to health food.

Trinity Health Farm Share Assistance program

Get a box of locally-grown produce weekly for 36 weeks. We offer this program at both our Ann Arbor and Oakland campuses. 

Learn more and register here. 

Produce to Patients

Most of the food grown at both of our hospital-based farms is donated to partner clinics and organizations. Look for our produce in these locations:

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Area

EMU Swoops Pantry

Packard Health

Trinity Health Ann Arbor Programs:
Academic Internal Medicine Clinic (AIM)
Centering Pregnancy Program – Academic OB/GYN Clinic
Diabetes Care and Nutrition
Healthy Families
Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR)
Lifestyle Medicine
Neighborhood Family Health Center


Henderson Clinic

Trinity Health Oakland Programs:
Outpatient Rehabilitation
Cardiac Rehabilitation
Academic Obstetrics & Gynecology Pontiac

If you are in immediate need for food, please call 2-1-1 to speak with a community advocate.


Market Connection Program

Do you and your family need help affording fresh fruits and vegetables and other food items?

Qualifying families can get $100 in online store credit to use on the Ypsi Area Online Market to buy local fruits and vegetables and other staples. The Ypsi Area Online Market is a virtual farmers market where you can buy local produce. Offering curbside pickup of your orders at each location for safe no/low contact.

This program is possible through the generous support of the Children’s Foundation of Michigan and the operational support of Growing Hope.

To qualify:

  1. Have one or more children living in the household
  2. Be experiencing food insecurity (need help affording healthy food)
  3. Live in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi Area

Here’s how it works:

  • If you and your family qualify, a member of The Farm will help you create an account with the Ypsi Area Online Market
  • You’ll have$100 in online store credit that you can use to shop on the Market
  • Farmers and businesses then harvest and prepare your food
  • The fresh, local food is delivered to the pickup site you choose, either The Farm at St. Joe’s or the downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market.
  • You pick up your items safely with no/low contact at the location that works best for you

Examples of what you can order:

  • Apples, plums, and pears
  • Beets, carrots, beans, greens, garlic, onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radishes, squash, and more
  • Fresh herbs, apple cider, eggs, cheese, meats, bread, and other prepared food items

Check out the market’s offerings:

We believe food is medicine.

If you are in immediate need for food, please call 2-1-1 to speak with a community advocate.

Community Resources

We are grateful to be a part of a supportive and resilient community. Many people are working hard to provide needed resources to our most vulnerable neighbors. Here are links to community resources:

COVID-19 Resources and News

Up to Date information on COVID-19 and Michigan related news:


Offering a broad range of resources: Call United Way’s 2-1-1 or go to

Food and Other Resources

Washtenaw County’s list of Essential Services:

Hope Clinic is committed to remaining open and their food pantry: 

Food Gathers is open and continuing to provide food: