Health and Wellness Garden

A photo of a plant tag placed in the dirt inside planter that reads "banana peppers"
Banana peppers grew in time to harvest before the winter.
A staff member with a small shovel helping to plant in the raised garden bed.
A staff member helps maintain the Health and Wellness garden.
A view of some of the seedlings including carrots, sugar snap peas, radish, beets and green beans.
Some of the seedlings that will be ready to plant in the Health and Wellness Garden this spring.
A photo of Christina Miller standing behind the raised garden bed smiling while holding freshly picked jalapeños.
TTM's Christina Miller, Transit Operations Supervisor and Buckeye Wellness Innovator, with some freshly picked jalapeños from the Health and Wellness garden.

A garden outside of the TTM building started by Transit Operations Supervisor and Buckeye Wellness Innovator Christina Miller, is encouraging healthy eating, while making fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible.

“I thought this would be a fun way to get fresh produce for people in my building. I also figured it would be a good way for people who want to help care for the garden to get outside, even if for a few minutes. It has been proven that movement, sunlight and fresh air all contribute to a better mood,” said Miller. 

Miller says she worked with FOD’s Hard Waste Management to salvage as much wood as she could from the bulk trash, rather than buying all new materials to build the elevated planters. “By the time I finished constructing the beds, it was already late fall, so there wasn’t much planting to be done besides plants that were already started. We managed to get some bell peppers, banana peppers, ghost peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes and basil planted in time to harvest.” As for the incoming winter, Miller says she plans to get the materials needed for seed starters so there will be solid sprouts ready for planting this spring.

While the project is still in its seedling phase, Miller says she sees it blossoming into something with a big impact. “Many of the employees here have been excited about the garden. They love watching it grow and commenting on the produce when I bring it in to share. It has also led to more ideas being shared with me on other small ways to boost morale and show that the department cares about its employees. I’m excited to see what comes with the spring and a whole season to grow and gather our own produce!”

Scroll through the photos above to see how the vegetation looked at the end of the summer.