Carson Tahoe Health unveils new garden for community outreach | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson Tahoe Health unveils new garden for community outreach

The new hoop house behind Carson Tahoe Health's Cancer Center is going to grow more than fresh produce; it also will flourish for the community as a whole.

The hospital's Foothill Garden opened Tuesday to expand the community's access to nutritional education and donate fresh produce to local seniors through Meals On Wheels.

"It meets a lot of goals for Carson Tahoe Health," said President and CEO Ed Epperson. "It gives another reason for the public to come out and learn how to prep healthy meals, work with local schools, and just doing the right thing."

The 960 square foot hoop house was developed in partnership with The Green House Project, as an inspiration to unite small scale urban and rural organic farms with learning opportunities, and help support the food security status in the county.

According to a 2014 data study conducted by Feeding America, Carson City's food insecurity reached 14.5 percent, with at least 7,930 people experiencing it.

With assistance of harvesting from the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation, the hoop house will be growing fresh produce year round. By next spring, Carson High School's Future Farmers of America and culinary programs will use it to learn about the importance of sustainable living and how to grow food.

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The hoop house also is open to CTH's community nutritional classes.

The project was in the works for about a year between the local partners. The Greenhouse Project also has an arboretum at Carson High School off of Saliman Road and Robinson Street, and another one called the Creekside Garden — located on the west side of the hospital — which already donates seasonal produce to The Eagle Valley Children's Home.

"I think what we're looking forward to is making the connection through high quality food and health, in terms of growing and valuing good food," said Arnold Carbone, vice president of the board. "This new garden is a destination and it won't be a drive-by. It will raise awareness for wellness."

Inside of the hoop house, there are three crops per row. Each crop will correspond with seasons, such as growing oats, clovers, radishes, kale, peas, and carrots to name a few.

Eventually, onions will be a part of the hoop house menu, said Greenhouse Project Manager Cory King. The condition of the house also is sturdy enough to defy the area's high winds and the garden will be protected from harsh temperatures.

Tuff Shed in Reno also donated a storage shed to the project to store gardening tools and other needs.

"Right now, we're covering the crops to help the soil to develop until the spring," he said. "Since it's a new space, we'll be observing with our climate."

Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to launch in 2018 and it will incorporate the addition of several raised plant beds.

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