Capstone planning gardening class
by Jennifer Cohron
Feb 22, 2013 | 1337 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Capstone Rural Health Center in Parrish has provided fresh produce to more than 300 families since 2011. Photo Special to the Eagle
Capstone Rural Health Center in Parrish has provided fresh produce to more than 300 families since 2011. Photo Special to the Eagle
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Capstone Rural Health Center in Parrish has provided fresh produce to more than 300 families since a community garden was established on the property in 2011.

Beginning next month, residents will have an opportunity to learn the art of raised bed gardening from horticulturist Richard Ford.

“We’ve decided it’s time to try to replicate what we’re doing throughout the community, especially through churches or other groups who might have an interest in raised bed gardening,” said Dr. David Jones, director of Capstone.

Ford, who oversees Capstone’s garden, has developed a six-week series of classes. Topics will include the advantages and disadvantages of raised bed gardening, construction of beds, soil preparation and growing media.

The garden at Capstone, which consists of 12 raised beds, grapevines, fruit trees and bushes, will be used as a lab during a discussion on setting transplants into beds or pots.

Class tours will also be taken to Ford’s greenhouse as well as the gardens of David and Eileen Reid and Bill Odom.

Classes begin on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. Classes will last two hours and will be limited to 25 people.

The cost to participate is $50, which will be placed in the Capstone Rural Health Center Community Garden Fund.

Although most patients don’t expect produce from their health care provider, Jones said gardening is a natural extension of Capstone’s mission to promote wellness and combat such prevalent problems as obesity, hypertension and inactivity.

“Gardening does more than give you fruits and vegetables. It also is relaxing, provides exercise, provides an outdoor activity and is something to teach our children” he said.

For more information, contact Capstone at 686-5113.