House of Hope Creates Edible Landscape
STUART, Fla. – What better place to find fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs than in your own yard? House of Hope staffers challenged themselves to create an edible landscape in the front of the organization’s administrative offices on Dixie Highway, and their efforts are literally bearing fruit.
“We’ve helped to create gardens in other parts of the community and our Growing Hope Farm in Palm City is producing increasing amounts of fresh, nutritious produce for our clients,” said House of Hope CEO Rob Ranieri. “Becoming involved with the edible landscape movement seemed a logical next step for us at our main facility.”
Now, instead of the typical South Florida landscape with greenery that is pretty but not productive, House of Hope’s colorful landscape is peppered with eggplant, lemongrass, mint, blackberries, Barbados cherries, rosemary, oregano, and vibrant sunflowers. The plantings will change with the seasons so there will always be appropriate fruits and vegetables in bloom and ready for harvest.
House of Hope encourages residents, businesses and organizations throughout Martin County to re-evaluate their own landscapes and think creatively about how to establish an edible yard. “An edible landscape has enormous benefits,” Ranieri said. “It’s a great way to counter increasing prices at the grocery store, add quality nutrition to diets, be a good steward to the environment and teach young people about the source of their food.”
Another teaching tool is House of Hope’s Traveling Nutrition Garden. The mobile garden visits schools, community events, and neighborhood gatherings with hands-on information about what grows in South Florida and how to make healthier choices. Groups and organizations can contact House of Hope at 772-286-4673, ext. 1004 to schedule presentations.
Funding for the edible landscape project came from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, along with support from a fund donated in memory of Marnie Abate, one of the original founders of House of Hope and a long-time friend and supporter.
About House of Hope
Founded in 1984, House of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. House of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each month helping with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, as well as longer-term case management services that help build life skills for a more self-sufficient future.
The organization has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach. House of Hope’s Enrichment Centers in Golden Gate Center and Jensen Beach offer free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health, and overall well-being.
House of Hope also operates the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and several nutrition gardens that provide sustainable sources of fresh produce for clients as well as nutrition education and vocational opportunities to the community. For more information, visit hohmartin.org or call 772-286-4673. Updates and announcements can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.