Holy Cross Sharing Garden Getting a 2020 Season Refresh

Be part of another productive garden season at Holy Cross

Holy Cross Garden update in progressThe Holy Cross sharing garden is getting a major refresh this spring, one that should help with weed control, provide easier access to garden beds and make for a more pleasant gardening experience.

But why garden, you ask? An article from the University of North Carolina Hospital provides several reasons, including improved hand strength, stress reduction, improved self-esteem, heart health and more. These are good reasons for any time, but especially, for those who are symptom free, in this time of self-isolation due to COVID-19. Read the article here

The Holy Cross sharing garden, initially two 4 ft x 8 ft raised beds built about six years ago by two Holy Cross youth members (Monica and Truman, children of Lori and Eric Crump), for a high school project, has grown to be a 30 ft x 40 ft garden with a fluctuating number of volunteers.

Over the past three years, it has enabled Holy Cross to donate more than 2,000 pounds of garden-fresh vegetables for the Catholic Charities' Durham Community Food Pantry. That is in addition to what is harvested for home use by gardeners who rent one or two beds each season for their personal use.

Prepping for the 2020 Growing Season

In the past few weeks, volunteers and garden members - working in very small numbers and practicing safe social distancing - have been clearing and planting in existing beds. Those seeds have already sprouted and carrots, onions, lettuce, radishes and more are growing. Note: outdoor exercise and food production are among activities allowed under current restrictions.

Volunteers making progress on Holy Cross garden update. More helpers welcome.Volunteers have also been rebuilding the northwest corner of the garden, laying ground cover (black plastic) where new raised beds and walking paths will be installed, replacing the 'in ground' planting rows.

The plastic ground cover will also be placed around existing beds in the rest of the garden, creating a cleaner, more easily maintained garden. All pathways will also be covered with the same gravel and sand mixture that is at the entrance to the garden. 

The garden flower and herb beds at the entrance to the garden are also being refreshed.

It's a Community Project

The Holy Cross Sharing Garden is a community project, not only for the parish but also for others in the area who would like a little exercise and the opportunity to grow their own vegetables. Individuals and families are welcome to reserve a bed or two for the season, or to simply volunteer to help with the garden refresh. Gardeners are asked to make a donation for each bed they reserve, to help cover the cost of garden supplies: $45 for each 4 ft x 8 ft bed, and $55 for each 4 ft x 12 ft bed. 

Interested? Send an email message to Anna Rzewnicki, garden coordinator, at garden@holycrossdurham.org to volunteer, to reserve a garden bed or two, or both. Donations can be made by check to Holy Cross with 'garden support' in the memo line. 

Spread the word; the garden is not limited to Holy Cross parishioners. In this time of confinement, the garden offers a safe outdoor activity that provides various levels of exercise, plus fellowship and a season's worth of fresh vegetables.

Don't hesitate if you've never gardened before. The garden coordinators have years of experience, and we continue to learn from each other. 

Tags: Grow produce for Catholic Charities Durham Food Pantry, Grow vegetables, Sharing Garden, Holy Cross Garden, outdoor exercise


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