Mary Scheuermann, above, a graduate student at Washington University's George Warren Brown School of Social Work, is studying public health with an emphasis on community food systems. This happens to be a win-win for the CWE as Mary is currently interning at Health Literacy Missouri, an organization I have mentioned several times (look here and here). Last summer, as an intro to community gardening, Mary interned at City Seeds, a City of St. Louis gardening program under the umbrella of Gateway Greening.
With assistance from Health Literacy's CEO and President Arthur Culbert and Associate Megan Rooney, this delightful intern from the D.C. area has started a community garden just west of Kingshighway at 5055 Waterman (across from the fountain). Mary lives up the street from the garden site, which has serendipitously served both to deepen her commitment to the neighborhood and as a catalyst to meet her neighbors.
Health Literacy chose the Food Pantry at Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington and Euclid, to be the recipient of the garden's bounty. Patrons of the church's food pantry were asked for a wish list of produce for Mary to plant. The list included tomatoes, peppers, collard greens and, for the children, watermelon. Health Literacy provides some of the funding for the garden, supplemented by donations (the City of St. Louis donated compost when the beds were dug in April).
Signage in the beds identifies the garden's beneficiary, and passersby have been respectful. It takes Mary about ten hours a week to maintain the garden. Volunteer workdays to assist with weeding and general garden maintenance are scheduled on Saturday mornings. The next workday is set for Saturday, July 16, from 9:30 to 11. To sign up, email Mary Scheuermann at the address at the end of the post.
Radishes and lettuces were the first vegetables harvested in early Spring.
There is a sense of community that has developed around Health Literacy's garden. Neighbors with gardens of their own have offered advice to Mary and Megan Rooney, left. Mary was able to share tips with a neighbor on Westminster Place who was having trouble with okra seedlings. Ref Braun donated 30 tomato plants, and President & CEO Arthur Culbert donated trees.
Zinnias and marigolds are planted around the perimeter of the beds to keep harmful critters at bay. The gardeners have learned how to repel rabbits with some creative guidance from Wolfgang's at 330 N. Euclid. The pet store and groomer has beaucoup dog hair that can be put into mesh bags and placed around the garden to keep those cute but voracious bunnies at bay. The bags aren't the most attractive addition to the garden, but the experts at Health Literacy say they seem to do the trick.
Health Literacy Missouri, 325 N. Euclid, (314) 361-9400. To volunteer: email@example.com