By Mary Ann Days, Mobile County Master Gardener
Every year, under the supervision of Marsha Stoltz, Mobile County Master Gardeners and MG Interns carry out three plantings in the demonstration fruit and vegetable garden at the Jon Archer Center, named the DREAM GARDEN. We plant in early spring, late spring, and fall – not counting extra plantings for potatoes and onions and such. Then we harvest weekly almost all year round, and the produce from our garden is donated to the Haven of Hope, a home for women recovering from addiction.
We weigh the produce each week, and one of us delivers it to the Haven. Over the last few years, we have averaged 600 to 700 pounds of fruits and vegetables given to these brave women annually. We grow a large variety of foods -- from arugula and asparagus to squash and turnips, from figs and grapes to satsumas and watermelons.
It is our joy to help the Haven, but we derive benefits, too. Each spring and fall, Marsha gives mini-lessons on planting, and all through the year we learn more and more about plant care in the Deep South.