I am thankful that when I wake up in the morning I am in a house, safe from the elements, with 3 dogs piled on me. I am thankful that when I go to the sink there is clean safe drinkable water in my faucet. At 62, I am thankful that when I get out of bed I can shower and come to the beauty of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks to work.
I am very proud of what the Garden represents to the community: a safe place for individuals and families to come together and enjoy nature, a place for wedding celebrations and memorial services, a place for young people and families. It is a place for people of all ages to learn about gardening and preservation of habitat, how to plant a pollinator garden or care for native plants, a place to recharge and let the stress of the day wash away.
The Vegetable Garden is purposely planted to inspire at home gardening and as a learning program for our Little Sprouts and Garden Buds children’s programs. Visitors can see planting in the raised beds and watch through the various stages of growth. Green tomatoes, Bok choy, peppers, okra, and squash are just a few of the varieties that are grown at the Garden. Since one of our fundamentals is education, different methods are tested in the Vegetable Garden, this year the team used cotton seed hulls as mulch to keep down weeds and reduce evaporation (who knew!). Susan Esche leads the planning and planting with a group of volunteers and in coordination with Berni Kurz, Director of Horticulture.
764.75# harvested in 2022
1,462.50# harvested year to date 2023
1,529.5# Goal for 2023 harvest (double 2022!)
1,600# Stretch Goal for 2023
Where does all this produce go? Seeds that Feed, distributes the harvested produce to 44 different distribution sites “Moving real food, to those that need it most, in real time”.
We are thankful for this program, at the Garden, that impacts so many of our neighbors who are Food Insecure.
We want this program to sustain and grow with additional beds in our Children’s Garden, as well as enhance our current beds.
There are donation options for you to participate in the SUCCESS of the Vegetable Garden and a new Little Spouts and Garden Buds children’s programing: $1,000 for a completely new bed, $500 for soil, irrigation and the first year off seeds, $100 for seeds for all season plantings and soil amendments, $50 for soil in one raised bed, $25 to be used as needed in the vegetable garden.
During this season of Thanks, we are thankful for our members, volunteers, staff, board, and guests that make our projects possible.
John Berry, email@example.com