Hospital’s community garden is ready for planting |

Hospital’s community garden is ready for planting

Alan Maguire, The Park Record

Park City Medical Center’s community garden is ready for its second season on Wednesday.

"We’re going to be putting all the vegetables in and some fruits," said Amy Roberts, spokesperson for the hospital who has been spearheading the community garden effort since its inception last year.

"We’ve got apple trees out there that have come back and strawberries and raspberries, and then we will plant all sorts of vegetables — we’ve got snap peas, tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash," she said. "We have a lot of lettuces. Chard, spinach, all that stuff."

The community garden debuted a year ago. Its fruits and vegetables are for members of the community to harvest, free of charge.

"The only rule really is that you only take what you intend to eat. We don’t want to see people down at the Farmers Market with our produce," Roberts said.

Immediately prior to the garden planting Wednesday, the hospital will be hosting a pair of speakers on the patio to discuss gardening and health matters.

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Daisy Fair, of Copper Moose Farms, is an organic farmer who has been gardening in Summit County for 13 years.

"She’s definitely an expert on high-altitude gardening, so she’s going to give some tips and tricks to people," Roberts said. "A lot of us get frustrated, can’t get tomatoes to grow up here, and she’s going to help answer some questions and get people some information.

"And then we’re going to have a speaker from our LiVe Well Center, Heather Darling. She’ll talk about the health benefits of gardening, everything from burning calories, as a way to meditate, a family activity, stress reduction, of course the benefits of eating your own organic fruits and vegetables. And then we’ll all go out and plant."

Five nonprofits — People’s Health Clinic, Hope Alliance, Mountain Trails Foundation, Youth Sports Alliance and the Park City Community Foundation — continue to sell engraved pavers, for $150 each, which line the walkways between the 20 or so garden beds.

"They’ll all be out there, have a presence at the community planting day, selling their bricks. And they get 100 percent of the proceeds. And then you get to have a permanent, engraved marker in the garden, which is nice," Roberts said.

In addition, a Heber stone company donated a large engraved stone for the entryway to the garden.

The garden is located on the south side of the hospital next to the trail system.

"So you can go for a little bike ride, go for a hike, come back, cut some spinach, grab some tomatoes and peppers and make yourself a salad for the night," she said.

The garden was reportedly quite popular in year one, as vegetables were regularly being harvested.

"I was so embarrassed, I had to go to the store and buy my own zucchini. We had, like, 17 zucchini plants out there but every time I would go out there to pick a zucchini somebody else had beaten me to it," Roberts said.

"It seemed like people really liked it and I just hope it continues to catch on and can be a source of community pride, to some degree," she said.

The Park City Medical Center’s community garden planting day is Wednesday, June 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who would like to help plant this year’s garden should meet on the hospital’s outdoor patio, just outside the café. Some gardening tools will be on hand, but people are welcome to bring their own as well.