Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update #1 - Cancer Victory Garden in New Jersey

This is great - read on and enjoy the smells! Thanks, Cheryl. :-)

Hi again Diana- Just wanted to keep you posted on our little herb garden at the Trinitas Cancer Center in Elizabeth, NJ...

We have sufficient oregano that there is a noticeable scent. It doesn’t quite smell like I’m cooking pizza in my office, but there is nice fragrance when you get near the little oregano sprouts. This has grown so quickly and full that it had to be thinned out.

The dill had to be thinned out too as it was growing too wildly for our little peat pods. The tops of a few of the sprouts are unmistakably dill, with their feathery blooms.
The cilantro has only one or two tiny sprouts that pushed through. And one little leaf looks just like cilantro should. I assume this herb takes a while to grow.
Parsley has pushed past the surface too and seems to be growing nicely.
So we have a little garden! I’m quite excited to prove that growing herbs indoors is simple. Experience is not required. (And I'm glad to avoid the embarrassment of failure). I've sent out a couple of emails to the staff to update them on the herbs. A few people stop by to look. Our IT guy, Francis (he was in the first batch of pix I sent you), bought the same set of 72 peat pods and a bunch of different seeds. He, his wife and their 2 young sons have been having a ball planting and watching the seeds grow at home.
Next, I'll probably be making individual plants for the patients and staff to take home. The man at Home Depot suggested I just use paper cups to re-pot the plants for travel, so I"ll try that. I already bought the potting soil, but the plants aren't ready yet. I'll make sure the plant is labeled on the cup, and I was thinking of providing a recipe along with the plant. My supervisor would love to see this become a full "Cancer Victory Garden" in our courtyard, but I'm not sure about that yet. I'll definitely need some help with that!! I'm planning to take the CSO exam in September and I've started an online study group, so that will be taking up a bunch of my time. But, we'll see what happens.
Cheryl Wachtel, RD

Here are some updated pix:

(Photo Below: Our thinned out herb garden: parsley, cilantro, dill and oregano)

(Photo Below: dill and oregano)

(Photo Below: parsley (first 3 rows), then 3 rows of cilantro. You have to look closely for the cilantro.)

I repeat - this is GREAT! I'll just bet that the staff and patients at your cancer center will jump at the chance to help develop and maintain a Cancer Victory Garden in your courtyard. It is no longer a surprise to me to find there is interest, talent, skill, and love just waiting in the wings to be involved with such a worth-while effort. :-)

Keep us all updated periodically!

Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of body and soul,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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