Employee & Community Health

Celebrate refresh of Kasson gardens on May 24

5/11/2017

ECH_kassongarden_widget

Since 2012, Mayo Family Clinic Kasson has had garden beds filled with herbs and veggies on its property to promote healthy eating. But with the clinic's renovation, the gardens required a refresh, too. 

Spearheading the renewal were Jake Hallstrom, an Eagle Scout candidate; Maggie Fitch, teacher and co-director of Just Like Home School Age Child Care in Kasson; Alicia Schumacher, Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP); Lori Baumbach, operations manager, and Joann Schulte, assistant supervisor, clinical operations at Kasson Clinic; and Nick Queensland, Mayo Facilities Operations. Together, they formed a plan for refreshing the garden beds. 

On May 24, the public is invited to celebrate the first fruits of this project. 

Mayo Family Clinic Kasson Garden Bed Dedication

  • When: Wednesday, May 24, 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Mayo Family Clinic Kasson, 411 West Main, Kasson, Minn.
  • What: Dedication of the new garden beds. Refreshments will be served. 

"Gardens offer physical and mental health benefits," Lori says. "Our collective garden project aims to cultivate not only healthy eating and physical activity, but also beautify the landscape at the clinic."

Working with Lori and Nick, Jake, his father Chris and a crew of Scouts from Troop 231 Kasson-Mantorville, designed, built and filled the 18 feet of garden beds with nearly 5,500 pounds of soil, donating 260 hours to the project. 

But beds aren't much of a garden without plants. Watching the beds take shape, Maggie saw an opportunity for kids in her program. "We are always looking for teachable moments," she says. "Growing a garden from start to finish - from planting, watering and weeding to harvesting - will be very rewarding for our kids." A group of 12 inspired students drew up a list of 10 possible veggies to grow, including cherry tomatoes, carrots, green beans, lettuce, radishes, cabbage, peas, strawberries, herbs and raspberries. They'll be planting seedlings in time for the dedication. 

Alicia from SHIP helped ensure funding for the project. "The overarching goal of SHIP is to create healthier communities across Minnesota," she says. "Investing in a project like this directly relates to this goal by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It also provides a learning opportunity for all partners that ultimately can create positive long-term diet and activity changes." 

"This project has created a real sense of community engagement," Lori says. "Not only will the kids harvest produce for their own use, but we'll also give back to the community by making donations to the local food pantry."