Every spring marks the beginning of an exciting time at Beacon Hill: seed planning for our community garden! “One of the fun parts of planting the seeds is creating beautiful patterns with colorful produce,” says Garden Café Manager Maggie Thiel. “Take cabbage for example. We grow three different varieties, and we plant them in such a way that when they sprout and mature, they create a beautiful pattern. Not only do our gardens look lovely from the ground, but they’re designed to provide a beautiful scene from our residents’ balconies as well.”
With over two dozen garden plots for our residents, community neighbors, and our kitchen, we grow an assortment of beautiful flowers like nasturtiums, dahlias, marigolds, to name a few, along with fresh produce and herbs.
This year, we’ve planned 10 varieties of tomatoes, swiss chard, collard greens, lanciato kale, beets, cabbage, gourds, squash, peppers, cucumbers, pickles, pumpkins, okra, eggplant, beans, snap peas, snow peas, rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and a huge variety of herbs like three types of basil, rosemary, two types of thyme, oregano, sage, cilantro, chives, chocolate mint, stevia, tarragon, lavender and bay laurel. “The advantage of having such a bountiful garden is that we craft the menu based on what’s ripening.” And the dutiful seed planning means a fresh harvest featuring different vegetables throughout the whole summer.
While we wait for our earliest harvest, we source from local purveyors to stay true to our vision of farm to fork cuisine.
We work with partners like:
- Heidi’s farm stand
- Crisp county acres
- Farm Link
- Vertical paradise
- Field and Fire
“Working with these local farmers means we can not only get the best-tasting, freshest ingredients, it also means we are supporting the local economy. The approach we take with the Garden Café and the dining service program is to serve as much fresh, local and whole foods as possible,” says Maggie.