As collaborative effort between Whole Foods and Home Grown New Mexico, June 6th marked the initial planting of a 1400 square-foot pollinator and food garden at the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club on Alto Street. As part of a team-build effort, Whole Foods generously offered about 40 of its employees to participate in this project, which was led by Home Grown New Mexico’s board of directors member, Pablo Navrot. On the following Tuesday, a second team of about a dozen, installed even more plants, perennials and annuals to diversity and augment the vegetable and pollinator composition.
The Boys and Girls Club offers programming in many facets, and although the garden is not a new element of their institution, they were in need of professional guidance, labor, plants, seeds, and tools to get it off the ground for the 2012 season. As part of a long-term strategy, Whole Foods and Home Grown New Mexico will continue to offer a supporting role to make this garden a stellar example of how community-based, collaborative efforts can make a difference for all who are involved, while encouraging local, and organically based agriculture. The work effort allowed many of the team members, who were not necessarily familiar with installing gardens, hands-on experience which will support their continued involvement in horticulture. For the young people served by the Boys and Girls Club, the garden fosters transparency in food production; all too often, they receive little exposure to farming or are forced to rely entirely on an excessively market-driven system to meet their nutritional needs.
Home Grown New Mexico would like to thank Jennifer Fresquez of Whole Foods and the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Fe for coordinating this project.
Some of the plants included in the Boys and Girls Club garden are:
Agastache sp. – hummingbird mint
beans – pinto, yellow wax, Mesa Verde, and Zuni gold
carrot – white
corn – strawberry popcorn (includes an heirloom white variety)
cosmos – heirloom variety
marigold – multiple varieties
New Mexico sunflower
peppers – sweet and hot
Salvia – culinary sage
Salvia – ‘May night’
squash – yellow crookneck
tomato – multiple varieties
yarrow – moonlight variety