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Cabin Creek Health Center calling all ‘green thumbs’ for volunteer gardening

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter
Dr. Dan Doyle, a family physician at Cabin Creek Health Center, is in a gardening frame of mind. The Dawes health center is planting vegetables and seeking volunteers to help maintain it. Volunteers can share in the harvest. Courtesy photo

The Cabin Creek Health Center would like you to get down and dirty this summer -- and reap what you sow in the process.

For a second year, the health center in Dawes is planting vegetables at its onsite garden area, for a healthy growing season of vegetables for those in and around the Cabin Creek community. Through funding from the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities, the CCHC has been able to expand its growing capacity this spring with added beds and a new greenhouse at the facility. It has more than doubled the gardening space that was available during the first year of planting in 2016.

“The plants are in the ground, but the center could use volunteer assistance with maintaining the garden,” CCHC Care Coordinator Karen Glazier said last week.

Glazier added the center has tools, including some ergonomically designed ones; watering cans and gloves available, including special gloves for those with arthritis, for its Green Thumbs Gang volunteers.

“Those who volunteer will be welcome to share in the harvest,” she said.

“This is the second year we’ve done this,” Glazier said. “We received a small grant from the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Last year, we planted some things like squash and tomatoes, and we told people they were welcome to the items. A number of our staff members felt that there were people who needed those food items in the community, and we were really pleased they were making use of the produce from the garden.

“Most of our participation was from the staff last year,” she said. “The whole purpose of the grant is to get people who maybe have some limitations. We are trying to encourage the community to be involved in keeping up the garden as well as benefiting from the harvest. Last year, it was all so new to us; we were trying to feel our way along. We’re hoping this year, by getting the word out to the community, to do better.

“We also held one workshop, in conjunction with the WVU Extension Service in Kanawha County. They came out and helped people prepare their own homemade salsa. They planted what they called a taco garden; they could take home a mini-garden with onions, tomatoes and lettuce,” Glazier said.

If a long-term gardening commitment is not for you, the health center, along with its gardening partner, the West Virginia University Extension Service, will host a cucumber planting and cucumber recipe preparation workshop at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1, at the center.

“The Extension Service is doing another contest to encourage people to grow vegetables, called ‘Grow This,’” Glazier explained. “It’s a West Virginia garden challenge, challenging people to grow a couple of crops through the season, starting with lettuce in spring, cucumbers in summer and kale in the fall. I’m sure they’ll talk about this contest. They’re trying to encourage more home growing of healthy vegetables, and we’re happy to put that out there.”

The cucumber-oriented event will also include fun activities for children that morning. Lunch will follow at noon.

For those interested in joining the Green Thumbs Gang or the July 1 cucumber workshop, contact Shannon Carver or Karen Glazier at 304-595-5006 for further details.


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