Thursday, June 13, 2013

BEAM's Garden by Sea

The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) has found a way to provide fresh vegetables for its "clients" in Jacksonville Beach FL.  A weed choked unattractive piece of land near their facility has become a flourishing garden with a grant from Home Depot Foundation for picket fencing, seedlings, and raised beds.  Other organizations and groups also participate in this community project where  a huge variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers, berries and fruit trees are growing.

It is BEAM's mission to "keep families in their homes and help them become self-sufficient.  Sometimes families just need groceries to help them get through the month.  Sometimes they need help paying their power bill."

After reading in the local newspaper about BEAM's gardening, I wanted to see for myself.  So early this morning, my husband and I paid them a visit.  We met Marilyn, the garden director, and she told us that the fresh vegetables did not remain long in their pantry.  BEAM has a grocery store for "clients" with a large cooler and a freezer on the premise.

The garden beds are raised and volunteers are each responsible for assigned beds.  Some are high enough and available for wheelchair bound "clients."  The vegetables are planted very close together in these boxes and producing an abundance of tomatoes, eggplants, okra, squash, and so much more.  Needless to say,  I was impressed.

With the help of scouts BEAM is planning to build a Serenity Garden, according to Marilyn.  She said that so many of the "clients" are in crisis and a peaceful garden under the tall shade trees would give them some solace and escape.

Interestingly, PVC pipes were put together to form squares, rectangles, and triangles with strings threaded horizontally and vertically for the pole beans, butter beans, and other vegetables to climb.

There was a well already on this lot, so BEAM was able to take advantage of it.  An extensive drip system is provided for each raised box and the surrounding fruit trees and berries.  This prevents black spots from developing since the water does not actually touch the vegetation.

Gardening on the Back Forty has come to a lull.  The Dog Days are here with heat and humidity.  There is not much going on.  We are just maintaining, keeping cool, and trying to keep the weeds and the grass at bay.  My blog activities are also coming to a lull.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  
Please, leave a message and let me know what is going on in your garden.
Remember Father's Day on Sunday.

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