IN JUST four short months, the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees' Garden has gone from non-existent to overflowing— with plants and people. Volunteers were the not-so-secret "organic" ingredient that led to a bountiful harvest. They provided enthusiasm, dedication, green thumb expertise, and loyalty during Savannah's hottest growing season.
- Charles H. Morris, Savannah civic leader and owner of Trustees' Garden, greets volunteers before the celebration at the CRI Healthy Garden. Also shown are Trustees' Garden Ambassador Paul Arkwright, III (left) and Kerry Shay, co-owner of Victory Gardens and advisor to the CRI Healthy Garden. Photo by James Byous, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
To begin the transition from summer to fall plantings and to celebrate the garden volunteers, Canyon Ranch Institute held a two-part event on Saturday, August 23. First assignment: harvest the remaining produce to take home for healthy meals and to share with other community members and local organizations, such as America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.
Then, it was time to aerate the soil and turn over the buckwheat being used as a cover crop in two of the 10 raised garden beds. To kick off a new growing season, the open beds were planted with collard greens, and volunteers started some seedlings that will be ready to plant soon.
With the morning’s work done, volunteers took a break to enjoy a late breakfast catered by Savannah farm-to-table restaurant Dept. 7 East and hear what’s next for the garden area at the historic Trustees’ Garden, which is owned by civic leader Charles H. Morris.
- CRI Health Literacy and Research Fellow Chad Lewis (in white shirt) welcomes volunteers who “sign in” on a memento banner with their favorite garden memories. Photo by James Byous, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
CRI Executive Director Jennifer Cabe explained “we’re going to be talking with people across Savannah to find out what else they’d like to see here because this space is for the people.”
In addition to extending thanks to everyone who had been involved, CRI presented Certificates of Appreciation to standout volunteers:
- Victory Gardens co-owner Kerry Shay explains the process of changing from one planting season to another. Photo by James Byous, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
Paul Arkwright III—Gotcha Award. From Day 1 in the garden, we got Paul involved and never let him go! Paul is now the Ambassador to Trustees’ Garden. If you have any questions about the CRI Healthy Garden, call Paul at 912-604-2227 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosa Davis—Hands-on Award for willingness and getting her hands into the dirt.
Kenneth Denny —All-in Award for being involved in all aspects of the garden, including building it and teaching others about gardening, and for having perfect attendance.
- CRI Executive Director and Board Member Jennifer Cabe (center) addresses friends, supporters, and volunteers of the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees' Garden about future plans to expand the garden with input from people of all walks of life across Savannah. Photo by Andrew Pleasant, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
John Ford—Iceman Award for arriving at the Morris Center early on Saturdays to provide ice and water to volunteers. John is the Events Manager for the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustee’s Garden.
Charles H. Morris —Salt of the Earth Award for being a generous benefactor and making the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees’ Garden possible.
Christine Ferrelle and Ashanti Walker—Johnny Appleseed Awards for donating seeds and plants to the CRI Healthy Garden.
Anne Roise and Kenneth Denny —Green Thumb Award for their ongoing efforts to grow positive change in the garden and throughout Savannah.
Jeff and Corinne Samuels—Organic Power Couple Award for outstanding attendance and their continued interest in organic gardening.
Catherine Torrence and Gloria S. Brown—Faith in the Garden Awards for representing the Senior Saints of Second African Baptist Church.
- Master Gardener Kenneth Denny and Anne Roise, Savannah educator and civic leader, gather a garden bounty bouquet. They are Savannah residents who regularly volunteer at the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees' Garden. Photo by Chuck Palm, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
Joseph Washington—Postman Award for nearly perfect attendance no matter the conditions and for “delivering” his patients to the Garden. Joseph is a physician at Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care.
If you’re a gardener or interested in becoming a gardener, you’re welcome to volunteer at the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees’ Garden. The next session is Saturday, September 20, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., East Broad and East Bay.
Chad Lewis is a CRI Health Literacy and Research Fellow. He learned gardening from his father and continues to develop his green thumb at home and with CRI Healthy Garden activities. Jan McIntire is CRI Senior Advisor for Outreach and helped with the original planting of the CRI Healthy Garden at Trustees' Garden.