‘A Great Way to Bring the Community Together:’ St. Ambrose Family Shelter Shares Fresh Produce with Residents and Community
We spoke with St. Ambrose Family Shelter Direct Care staff member Maria Palazuelos about the impact of the St. Ambrose communal vegetable garden and why it is so meaningful to the community. Learn more in our Q&A with Maria below.
What types of vegetables do you grow in the garden?
Our garden is filled with all different types of flowers and vegetables. We are currently growing cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, peas, lettuce, swiss chard, kale, herbs, and squash which are all available for our residents and community members to take.
Who takes care of the garden?
Our team at St. Ambrose work hard to keep the garden up and running with a special thanks to our summer interns from Emmanuel college who have dedicated a lot of their time to watering, weeding, and planting in the garden
Who do you share the produce from the garden with?
We share our garden’s produce with residents and community members. They love to cook with it, take some home for their friends and families, or even just enjoy it on the spot. Most of our produce gets taken on Fridays when Loving Spoonfuls makes their food donation so while people are getting food from the truck, they also love to look around the garden to see what is ripe and ready to take!
Why is the garden a meaningful part of St. Ambrose?
Our Community Giving Garden is a meaningful part of the St. Ambrose shelter because it has been a great way to bring our community together. Not only does it allow members and residents to have healthy and fresh food options, but it has also been a lot of fun for us to work together as a team to maintain it. When we have our service days with volunteer groups, a lot of our time is spent outside in the garden which makes for an enjoyable day while also benefitting the whole community.