The Creekside Church of the Brethren received a grant from the Lilly Endowment Fund a few years ago that allows them to purchase supplies to create container gardens that they then donate to ADEC Supported Living clients. According to Cary Kelsey, an ADEC Board Member and member of the Creekside Church of the Brethren, this is the third year for this project and it is organized and carried out entirely by volunteers.
The church has their own greenhouse and uses it to germinate the seeds and grow the seedlings that they plant, although the cool spring this year did make it more difficult. Volunteers meet to prepare the containers with sterilized potting soil, fertilizer, and lime, and then use them to plant the seedlings. They use two types of containers: “Earth Boxes” for peppers and lettuce, and large pots for various kinds of tomato plants. The Earth Boxes are covered with a plastic “shower cap” to keep weeds out. The boxes are watered through a tube in one corner of the box, while the tomato pots are watered more conventionally from the top.
Cary and his fellow volunteers then deliver the containers that afternoon to every Supported Living residence that has requested them, and there are fifteen this year. Residents are then responsible for daily watering, and later they will be able to start harvesting their own free, fresh produce.