Written By Gabby Meerwarth, Volunteer Manager

As the summer sun intensifies, Each Green Corner volunteers are working hard in our Residential Senior Gardens. In partnership with Villages of San Mateo County, Each Green Corner installs and maintains these gardens in the backyards of aging-in-home seniors. The gardens themselves might be smaller than some of EGC’s other sites, but their impact is immense. Read below to find out more about why this program matters and how to get involved.

Our Garden Stewards: Highlighting H.S. 

If you’ve read Benefits of Gardening for the Elderly or Each Green Corner’s Impact on Senior Garden Stewards then you have a good idea of how our volunteer-run gardens provide fresh produce, community, and joy to our Senior Garden Stewards (site hosts). Even more, many of our stewards have personal connections to gardening. These connections are rooted in childhood, and continue with EGC today.

H.S. is one such steward. He grew up in California during the Great Depression, a time when money and food were scarce for many. He recalls exchanging stamps for a monthly ration of milk, cereal, spam, spaghetti, sauce, and butter. However, he also acknowledges that “the California sun was the gift of food life.” He witnessed poor gardeners thank the Californian landscape for their crops—carrots, lettuce, cabbage, kale, cucumbers, peas, radishes, pears, apples, apricots, peaches, and persimmons to name just a fraction. His family made planter boxes from lumber scraps, and saved seeds from their food to grow new seedlings. He fondly remembers using a red wagon to carry home lumber scraps and free manure with his sister.

Now, H.S. continues to be thankful for his landscape, and the freshly grown produce in his own backyard. He often cooks up delicious snap peas, grown and harvested by EGC volunteers. His story intimately connects him to EGC’s mission to combat food insecurity while spreading the joys of gardening. 

Volunteer at an EGC Senior Garden!

All of our Senior Gardens are run by small groups of dedicated volunteers. We at EGC are so thankful to all of these volunteers for making the work we do possible. Being a volunteer involves signing up for weekly maintenance shifts on our volunteer portal and attending seasonal planting workdays. If you are interested in committing to volunteering a few times a month at a garden like H.S.’, please email volunteer@eachgreencorner.org  for more information. 

Looking into the future, we hope to maximize the amount of produce available to our Senior Garden Stewards and local food banks by growing our volunteer teams and supporting them in every way possible. Right now, we are working on putting together plant care guides that will be available at all sites. These will include detailed information about how to properly plant, care for, and harvest every plant variety at our gardens. 

With the help of our volunteers, we look forward to expanding this program and helping more aging-in-home seniors reap all of the benefits of backyard gardening. 


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