“Having this garden has made a difference,” said, Karen Yates, Executive Director of the Hosea House. “From one bed of cabbage we were able to supplement one full meal of ham and cabbage at the busiest time of the month.”
The Hosea House at 901 York Street, Newport KY is the only soup kitchen in Northern Kentucky to serve a hot meal in the evening, seven days a week. As an organization they are dependant on both volunteers and donations to cook and serve meals to as many as 350 persons, daily.
One of those volunteers is Monica Remmy, she is the Volunteer Manager for Family Promise of Northern Kentucky, Garden Manager for the Hosea House and student in the MPA program at NKU.
“I never thought we would get this much of a yield the first season. We’ve picked at least a hundred pounds of produce,“ said Monica Remmy, Garden Manager. “Did you know green beans are fuzzy when picked? I didn’t. We’ve become so detached from where our food comes from, when we find it in its natural state, we’re surprised. “
“Are those beets? I haven’t had fresh beets in a long time.” An older guest remarked. “I’ll slice them up and pan fry them.”
From squash and cucumbers early in the season to ripe strawberries, beets, peppers, tomatoes and green beans, all of the harvested food either went directly into meals served or was given to guests of the soup kitchen. What was the most popular dish? Tomato and cucumber salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
“We picked ripe tomatoes into mid October and hope to save the seeds of our organic Roma Tomato plants” stated Monica Remmy. “We’ve got two beds of cabbage going for the fall and will cover the beds in plastic to make hoop houses.”
Funding for the garden came from multiple sources including the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati now Interact for Health and NKU’s Mayerson Philanthropy project. “The resources I’ve identified and networking connections I have made through the MPA program have been invaluable in making this project a success, and this is only the beginning,” Monica emphasized. “ I’ve got my eye on several empty lots around Newport for the next garden.”
The grant that provided the initial coordination of Hosea House Garden also helped the Newport Independent School District survey their students on health and nutrition. That data helped the district win a substantial multi-year grant focused on physical education and nutrition. “I’m excited to see how we can integrate student learning into garden activities at the Hosea House.” Said Monica. “This is an incredible opportunity to change the way an entire generation of young people understand fresh foods.”
To learn more about nutritional poverty or the Hosea House Garden contact Monica Remmy firstname.lastname@example.org 513-304-3587.
Below is a gallery of images of the Hosea House Garden, taken by volunteer Michael Rice. Click on an image to view it larger.