Our goal at the McFaddin-Ward House is to teach how easy gardening can be. We hope to inspire others to start their own gardens, and to instill a love of nature and conservation in the hearts of the children that participate in the program. We adopted a "lasagna" gardening method and maintain the project free of pesticides and chemicals.

The 4-bed Victory Garden, which is part of its education program, is supervised by staffer, Carol Cuccio. She has gardened her whole life has a real passion for teaching others to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

To learn more, or to get involved with this fulfilling project, contact us at (409) 832-1906 or email ccuccio@mcfaddin-ward.org.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Progress Report on the Victory Garden

Although it has been plenty hot--well over a three-digit heat index--our garden is looking lush.

We’ve harvested tomatoes, potatoes, okra, cucumbers, beans, herbs (basil, dill, mint, cilantro), and lettuce. Our meals taste so much better when we eat the fresh fruits of our labors!

The sunflowers are growing beautifully and we are enjoying the colorful wildflowers.

Everything is doing well, but we do have to water every day.

Get involved! We are always looking for more volunteers to help with maintenance. We are starting to make plans for a fall garden. A bonus is getting to take home some of the harvest. Nothing taste better than home-grown vegetables.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pizza straight from the garden (Almost!)

The McFaddin-Ward House plays host to the Boys & Girls Club showing the youngsters how food fresh from a garden could be just the topping for the ever-popular pizza.

The idea for Grow-Your-Own-Pizza toppings came from Danny Chand, the Nutrition Education Specialist for the Southeast Texas Food Bank. Part of his job is to teach good eating habits to a variety of age groups. He noticed that children often don’t have the link between how harvested food becomes grocery food. Capitalizing on his wife Carol Cuccio’s Victory Garden at the McFaddin-Ward House, Chand partnered with the Salvation Army’s Boys Clubs and Girls Club to show the children how to grow/pick/eat garden food.

For three sessions, Thursday July 2, 9 and 30, at 10am, 60-70 youngsters will visit the McFaddin-Ward House’s first floor. They also explore the four-bed garden and its vegetables and herbs, with a final stop at the visitor center where they will be treated to home-made pizza while learning about the nutritional content of the pizzas .

Carol Cuccio noticed on the club’s first outing, several of the children had never seen garden-grown tomatoes and were at first reticent about eating the squash. Commenting on how well behaved the children are, Cuccio also spoke about the children’s willingness to taste-test the colorful pizza toppings. “The children saw firsthand how food can go from the garden to the table and they liked this adventure in eating.”