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Gifts of the garden

Every spring marks the beginning of an exciting time at Beacon Hill: seed planning for our community garden! This year, Garden Café Manager Maggie Thiel is excited to try some seeds from Row 7, a seed company built on collaboration between chefs, farmers, and plant breeders. Working together, Row 7 creates, trials and distributes delicious plant varieties to make an impact in the soil and at the table.

“We are participating in an exciting project where we purchase the seeds, and then report back to Row 7 on how well they grew in our climate, what our thoughts are on the flavors, and any other feedback we have,” says Maggie. She plans to include cucumbers, Beauregarde snow peas, Delfino cilantro, and Habanada pepper – a new pepper variety that captures the fruity notes of a Habanero with none of the spice. And in May, Pebble Creek Mushrooms will be bringing in special growth medium from mushroom substrates to replenish the nutrients in our garden soil.

“Another fun part of planting 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.

We’re looking forward to serving up delicious meals in the Garden Café using freshly harvested ingredients this summer!

This year’s garden plan includes:

  • Multiple varieties of Tomatoes
  • Green Cabbage
  • Red Cabbage
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Purple Kale
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Red, Yellow & Purple Potatoes
  • Multiple Varieties of Peppers
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Hard Squashes
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Rhubarb
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias
  • Nasturtiums
  • Mixed Greens
  • 4 varieties of Basil
  • French Cooking Thyme
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Rosemary
  • Stevia
  • Sage
  • Greek Oregano

Perennial Plantings include:

  • Apple Trees
  • 2 Varieties of Grapes
  • Raspberries
  • June Bearing Strawberries
  • Chives
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Lavender

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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