Nabiha Abdulle and Siraj Dire, one of our Twin Cities Habitat families in Robbinsdale, are trying a very special gardening project called “Garden-in-a-Box” through the Horticultural Society.
Garden-In-A-Box was created in 2008 to provide gardening opportunity to low-income families and schools. The program not only provides resources and knowledge for a successful gardening experience, but also serves as supplemental healthy food during the growing season.
Nabiha, Siraj and their three children started their Garden-in-a-Box earlier this spring, and are already enjoying the tasty fruits (well, vegetables) of their labor, said Terry Barnes, one of our Construction Support Associates.
The family planted a cherry tomato plant, basil, parsley, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, kale, onions and marigolds from the Horticultural Society. They also added eggplant, lettuce, rosemary, broccoli and cucumber too.
“The family is off to a great start,” Terry said. “They are the first Habitat family to try this style of vegetable gardening. It’s very promising that lots of good food will be grown and enjoyed.”
This first “pilot” garden began when the Horticultural Society contacted Twin Cities Habitat about their efforts. After a meeting with Terry and Cristen Incitti, our Family Services Manager, Habitat decided to start with one family garden to test the level of logistical support needed to make a garden a success.
“If we had volunteers who would help get the kits out, I think a lot more Habitat families would be interested,” Terry said.
Nabiha and Siraj received a three foot-by-four foot fabric gardening box, plenty of soil and a selection of plants and seeds to get started.
Sharon Eddleston, a Hennepin County Master Gardener, was a big help giving advice and guiding the family through the planting process, Terry said.
“What is really cool about this project is that it provides opportunity to have a successful gardening experience that supplements those in need with fresh, local produce during the growing season and that really supports healthy living,” Terry said. “The act of encouraging gardening also provides the opportunity to teach, learn and build community.”