There’s green okra and light yellow-green Italian trumpet squash, dark green cucumbers and purple tomatoes. Vibrant pink vinca and red nasturtium flowers add even more color to the variety of buds and blossoms already there. The Peace Garden at LCS on Baynard Avenue offers a colorful and quiet respite from the busy roads and businesses nearby. Vegetables and flowers grown there provide healthy food to clients of the LCS food pantry.
Garden manager Melody Muhammad explains the goal of the garden, “Instead of giving them just canned food, we give them fresh produce. We share recipes and tips for how to use them.” Melody oversees the garden and works with the volunteers. She has tended to the Peace Garden for three years. Last year, they added two or three beds and this year another two. “New beds allow the opportunity to give more,” and Melody hopes to add a few more containers soon.
Some plants are grown from seed, and others go in the garden as seedlings.They come from a variety of sources, but the Food Bank of Delaware provided many of them, including several new and fun varieties. This year, they have fewer flowers, which means more vegetables. At the same time, Melody misses having flowers mixed in all the beds. Clients appreciate the flowers as well, as one woman said, “I have an activity at my house, and the flowers will be a beautiful addition.”
Interested in volunteering? There are many opportunities in the Peace Garden. The schedule varies based on your availability. Volunteer Mara likes the flexibility. She comes over for several hours each week, although not always at the exact same time. She says, “Friday morning is nice because you can see the fruits of your labor. People are excited to get food right from the garden.”
Organizations and teams help out as well. A group from DuPont's Pencader site recently constructed and filled two raised beds and created new labels for the plants. They enjoyed the chance to give back and to get out in the community. While here, they learned more about the services LCS provides and hopefully can let others know about us.
Next time you are in the area, stop by to see the Peace Garden. Visitors and volunteers are welcome!