Fresh flowers and vegetables will be available at the Allegheny Community Greenhouse on Fridays and Saturdays on May 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Warren State Hospital grounds.
"The mission for the Allegheny Community Greenhouse is to provide an educational learning center, a therapeutic activity for people and an indoor classroom for people of all ages," Sue Himes, Allegheny Community Center and Retired Senior Volunteer Program community development director said. "Proceeds of the sale of plants benefit the Indigent Patient Fund of the Warren State Hospital."
A variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables will be available at the greenhouse including 13 different types of heirloom and artisan tomatoes, khale, lunch box peppers, parsley, varieties of basil, cat nip, marigolds, ferns, and petunia.
Volunteer at the community garden Julie Greenlund said tomatoes and khale are in demand, so much so she had trouble getting tomato seeds. The volunteers make their own schedules and the funds support the Indigent Patient Fund and startup costs for the following year.
"They've probably grown twice as much as we had last year, the volunteers," Himes said, adding there are 10 volunteers at the greenhouse. "And they handle it seven days a week, because you have to water seven days a week, sometimes twice a day so it's a real commitment for the volunteers...it's a great team of volunteers."
Experience, Inc.'s volunteer program, RSVP, is the lead agency of the greenhouse. RSVP volunteers assist with maintaining the greenhouse through watering, pruning, cleaning and planting. Master Gardeners, some of whom are RSVP volunteers, use the facility as a teaching center, and classes are chosen according to the season and the teacher's area of expertise, Himes said.
The Allegheny Community Greenhouse will distribute excess plants to civic and non-profit agencies throughout the community on a first come, first serve basis. Greenhouse volunteers will also visit the Allegheny Community Center to talk about the benefits of eating fresh vegetables and the therapeutic benefits of growing fresh produce for themselves.
"Teaching the community about eating healthier and participating in a healthy activity is a major goal for the Allegheny Community Greenhouse," Himes said. "After program costs are covered all proceeds will be given to the Indigent Patient Program fund at the State Hospital. This is a win - win situation for everyone involved."
For more information about contributing to the greenhouse contact Himes at the ACC 723-3236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.