Above & Beyond plants community produce garden

This is the second year for the Above & Beyond community garden, located across the street from Advantage Home Medical. Once the produce is ready, community members can pick from the garden. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     This year is the second year that Above & Beyond Home Health and Hospice in Monticello is offering a free community garden.

     The 140-square-foot raised garden is located across the street from Advantage Home Medical and the Above & Beyond offices on E. First Street.

     “The owners of Above & Beyond wanted to provide this for the community,” said Andrea Chapman, marketing with Above & Beyond. She said some employees had seen community gardens in other towns they travel to for patient care, and brought it to Above & Beyond Owner Becky Cooper’s attention, who thought it was a good idea. “They wanted it for Monticello as well,” added Chapman.

     The sign in front of the community garden thanks everyone for their continued support of Above & Beyond through the years, and the garden is just one of the many ways Above & Beyond gives back.

     “It’s just one of the ways Above & Beyond wants to thank them,” said Chapman.

     This year, Six P’s Greenhouse (owned by Jake Schilling and run by Sarah Schoon) in Monticello donated the majority of the produce plants for the community garden.

     The garden was planted in May, and some of the plants are already producing flowers. The produce should be ready for picking by July and August. Last year, Chapman said they still had plants producing well into September.

     The garden is open to the community, anyone who wishes to utilize the produce.

     “Please take only what you will eat,” suggested Chapman. “The garden is for fresh consumption.”

     Above & Beyond asks that you do not load up on produce for canning purposes. Cooper said if you want mass quantities of produce, plan a visit to the Monticello Farmers Market.

     Items that are ready for the taking will be placed inside a basket in front of the garden bed, with a sign designating that the produce is ready.

     The types of produce and herbs planted this year includes: peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro, basil and rosemary.

     “It’s growing fast,” shared Chapman.

     Above & Beyond is seeking volunteers to help water, weed and pick the produce. Current volunteers include Scott Brighton with Advantage Home Medical, Toni Stumpf with Above & Beyond, garden expert Kyle Gassman, and local students Paige Holub, Maddie Fellinger, and Lydia Franzenburg.

     “We heard other community members and organizations have community garden plans in the works, so this is exciting for the community,” praised Chapman.

     To stay up to date on the Above & Beyond community garden and other community events they host, like and follow their Facebook page: “AboveBeyondHC.”



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