By Mountain Family Health Centers

“This is our second year doing the clinic garden,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Jenny Lang.She’s the grand master of volunteer activities at the Glenwood Springs Health Center vegetable garden. “Last year we tried to do it with more of a focus on patients, but this year we’ve decided to focus on employees and trying to impact employee health,” she continued. Key goals include teaching employees how to garden and prepare and enjoy fresh vegetables.

“Last year it was successful without a lot of effort,” said Jenny. But there’s room for improvement, especially after Jenny noticed how employees interacted with the garden. “I was like, why is no one picking lettuce? Why? Because I don’t think anyone knew how to pick it.”

Volunteer and community member Jesus is an essential contributor to the homegrown operation, watering the vegetables every day.

Everyone gathered at the April planting seemed to appreciate the therapeutic nature of preparing and tending a garden.

“We’re here to get our families outside, as well as to teach them about planting food and playing in the dirt,” said Mountain Family CEO Ross Brooks. “I’m on the road all the time, so my favorite time is being back in the clinic, back in the garden.”

“Everyone should know that what we eat is the best medicine of all,” said Jenny. She says Mountain Family employees can harvest ripe vegetables later this year, even if they haven’t helped with the planting or weeding.