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Eskaton Manor and Lassen Public Health Create Community Garden

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Eskaton's Social Services Coordinator Charlotte Roberts and Emily Griffin, Lassen Public Health's SNAP Educator finish filling up one of the raised beds with potting soil

Eskaton’s Social Services Coordinator Charlotte Roberts and Emily Griffin, Lassen Public Health’s SNAP Educator finish filling up one of the raised beds with potting soil

Eskaton Manor and the Lassen County Public Health Department have partnered with a lot of local businesses to create a new community garden in the low-income senior housing complex on North Mesa street in Susanville. The community garden project is an outgrowth of the Public Health Department’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-ed) and the Lassen County Nutrition Action Plan.

“We have set the goal of developing a community garden to address food insecurity and nutrition amongst some of our county’s seniors,” explains Eskaton’s Social Services Coordinator Charlotte Roberts. “We have the land to build it, as well as individuals to care for the garden. What we lack are the materials.”

To make the community garden truly flourish coordinators are in need of garden plot kits or lumber to build raised beds and soil to fill the beds.

“We live in a harsh high desert climate, similar to that of Reno, where the soil is not suitable for growing many of the foods that we would like to produce,” said Roberts explaining the need for raised beds which are also helpful for the seniors who will be tending the garden plots.

In addition to fulfilling a utilitarian purpose the community garden gives Lassen Manor residents the chance to get out and work in soil. Many of the seniors tended gardens for years at home and this provides them a continuation of that joy while living in the housing complex.

Roberts emphasized that community garden will bring healthy food options to many people who may not be able to purchase healthy foods and will also provide the residents with outdoor activity and socialization, benefitting them physically, emotionally and mentally.

“In the future we would like to expand the project so that the neighborhood is able to reap the benefits of locally grow food by selling surplus harvests at a hugely discounted price.”

Emily Griffin, Lassen Public Health’s SNAP Educator, plays a vital role in the gardening project – educating persons eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program about lowering the cost of healthy nutritional food, an important concept for Lassen Manor residents who are primarily seniors that fall under the Federal Poverty Level.

If you are interested in contributing materials for the project you can email Charlotte Roberts at charlotte.roberts@eskaton.org or Emily Griffin at egriffin@co.lassen.ca.us.

So far the community garden project has received contributions from these nice folks:

  • Payless Lumber: Lumber to build two planter boxes
  • Ace Hardware: Hardware Cloth and 30 bags of Potting Soil
  • Home Depot: $50 worth of supplies as needed
  • Norm the Woodsmith: Screws
  • Carrie Flynn: 3×3 wood
  • Gold Run Cabinets: Cut wood

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