“Greening Up” the Produce Garden

“Greening Up” the Produce Garden

Barbara (left) and Arcelia (right) in the gardenOn Tuesday, March 16, we welcomed three wonderful volunteers to work in La Posada’s produce garden with clients. Arcelia Aguilar, MSN, R.N., Barbara Robinson from Methodist Healthcare Ministers and Jennifer Herrera from Texas A&M ArgriLife Extension Service arrived in the morning with gardening tools and supplies, a variety of plants and loads of enthusiasm. These ladies worked together with four of our clients to clear the planting site before planting sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, okra, cucumbers, watermelon, squash and melon. Our clients, then, had the opportunity to learn about the proper way to care for these plants. After watering the new additions to the garden, Arcelia and Barbara spoke to the clients about different planting techniques, the growing process, other plants and possibilities for La Posada to expand its garden. In several weeks, this addition to the garden will provide our clients with the ingredients to make delicious and healthy meals.

In late summer, Arcelia and Barbara will return to La Posada to work in the garden and to prepare for fall planting. We plant, fertilize and cultivate the produce garden every spring and fall and, in doing so, we teach clients about environmental and agricultural sustainability. The garden is fertilized using compost we create; the plants are irrigated with grey water and rainwater from our cisterns, and the garden is weeded weekly during the growing seasons.

As the fruits and vegetables ripen, they are harvested and served with meals at La Posada, which are planned, prepared, and eaten together. We sell surplus produce at the local farmer’s market, and the proceeds are used for shelter programs. At the end of one season, we remove all the fallow plants and add them to the compost that will fertilize the garden next season.

The shelter program at La Posada promotes the philosophy that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation. Through La Posada’s sustainability education and practices, clients gain knowledge and skills to begin new lives in our country—and live more sustainably on our planet. Donors who wish to make an ongoing commitment to our “greening up” efforts can join our Circle of Hope monthly giving program at the $25 level—The Gift of Stewardship. Having regular and reliable income through the monthly giving program helps ensure we can keep teaching clients about the environment for many years to come. You can learn more about the Circle of Hope by clicking here.

As we celebrate Earth Day this April, we are thankful for volunteers like Arcelia, Barbara and Jennifer who share in our “greening up” endeavors to teach clients, and ourselves, how to be good stewards of our environment.