The Teaching Garden at Carolinas Medical Center-University is an organic fruit, vegetable and herb garden that highlights the nutritional and environmental benefits of fresh, locally grown produce in an interactive and educational way.
The garden serves as an outdoor classroom for all, teaching healthy habits to hospital visitors and staff, local school children and members of the wider community.
Fresh, Locally Grown Produce
The 3,000-square-foot garden was created and developed by Elaine Jones, RD, and features:
- Vegetable beds
- Fruit trees
- A large cedar pergola
- Working and dining tables
- Composting area.
Construction of the garden began in June 2012 and was completed in September of 2012.
The garden grows and harvests a variety of produce, including herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano and chives; fruits such as figs, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; and vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cabbage, spinach and kale.
Sewing the Seeds for a Healthy Community
The garden is available for everyone in the community to learn from and enjoy. Hospital patients and employees enjoy cafeteria tastings and dishes featuring fresh produce from the garden. Local students from Garinger High School visit the garden as part of a health and wellness program at the school. Soon, the garden will begin holding classes for the community on composting, gardening and nutrition.
With the national obesity epidemic worsening, emphasizing the importance of healthy eating and lifestyle habits has never been more crucial. The garden provides a hands-on experience for children and adults to learn about this important aspect of their health.