March 26, 2021 —In cooperation with the West Chester Green Team, Barclay Friends is launching a community gardening program this growing season. Barclay Friends will offer garden beds to be planted by neighbors living in the West Chester Borough who need extra space to grow food for their families. Some people live in apartments or condos, while others have small or shady yards. All gardeners want to grow their own food in a healthy organic setting, without pesticides.
What are the benefits of gardening at Barclay Friends?
For community gardeners
The gardening program will provide a sunny spot with healthy composted soil and talented gardeners to teach basic gardening skills and answer questions for novice growers. Gardening at Barclay Friends is the perfect way to get started with a new and healthy hobby.
The garden beds are located so that residents and their families will be able to observe the garden activity. In addition, the Green Team is sponsoring an outdoor concert in the garden for residents in late summer. The Green Team’s gardening site supervisor, Elizabeth Schultz, will grow herbs and offer education on the use of fresh herbs for the benefit of residents’ dining enjoyment.
For Barclay Friends’ staff
Garden beds will be dedicated for Barclay Friends’ employees to garden in the same area. Barclay Friends’ Horticultural Therapist, Cheryl Bjornson will oversee the coordination of the employee garden beds. In addition, employees will benefit from the same teaching and advice given to community gardeners.
Barclay Friends looks forward to this project as well as welcoming Elizabeth Schultz as the gardening site supervisor. Elizabeth has completed three summers of garden supervisory work at West Chester University (WCU). She has been responsible for garden upkeep as well as weekly produce harvests which were delivered to the WCU Resource Pantry. Elizabeth guides WCU Gardens’ volunteer experiences, coordinates events and uses her position in student government to spread the word about the importance of gardening and sustainability.