New Volunteer Garden Grows at Edgemoor

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March 7, 2012 | 5:05pm

A special new garden has sprouted at the County of San Diego’s Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility in Santee, home to seriously ill and injured adult patients with chronic diseases or traumatic injuries. County officials and community partners say the volunteer garden will give patients and the community greater access to fresh produce.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob; Walter Hekimian, Administrator, Edgemoor Distinct Part Skilled Nursing Facility; and Judith Jacoby, San Diego Community Gardening Network discuss the importance of community gardens.

“All across the county there is growing interest in community gardens that provide fruits and vegetables for low-cost, healthy meals,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob who led the effort to replace the once run-down Edgemoor facility with the newer campus that exists today. “There is already an abundance of compassion flourishing at Edgemoor. I can’t think of better place to raise both crops and community spirits.”

The garden includes 19 raised beds that are open to the community and County staff. The facility’s Recreational Therapy Unit will help patients learn gardening skills while growing produce for cooking classes. Community gardeners will take part in an annual “Harvest Celebration” and donate a portion of their yields to Edgemoor.

“Healthy eating is a challenge due to rising food costs, lack of access to healthy produce, and prevalence of inexpensive yet highly processed foods,” said Nick Macchione, Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. “Growing your own fruits and veggies is one way to save money and stay active.”

Edgemoor is the County’s 24-hour skilled nursing facility providing long-term medical care to patients with complex medical needs.

The volunteer garden is a project of Healthy Works, a program to engage local residents, businesses and leaders in promoting wellness in their communities through things such as community gardens, farmers markets, and school exercise and nutrition programs. It is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and administered by the County’s Health and Human Services Agency. The program supports the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative, a 10-year vision for healthy, safe and thriving communities.  Learn more at HealthyWorks.org.