Lulu at the Garden

It was a bright and cloudless, summer day the morning of July 12th. Some would describe it as “roasty toasty” or “too hot too move.” Nevertheless, a few Lulu team members and myself made our way to the Alliance Medical Ministry garden. We had our hats, gloves, water bottles, and plenty of sunscreen prepared for a day of gardening.

If you’re not familiar with Alliance Medical Ministry, they are a faith-based medical ministry that works with uninsured adults in Wake County to provide medical care. They also have a community garden in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. All the produce grown is given to patients. They’re amazing!

When Lulu arrived that morning, we were given several tasks:

1. Tame the wily cucumbers

2. Move Dirt Mountain

3. Wrangle top-heavy tomato plants

5. Create a new garden bed

4. Quench the thirst of the garden


We split into groups to divide and conquer.

Chris, one of Lulu’s summer interns, and I took on the task of taming the wily cucumbers. These plants grew so much that they started to invade the surrounding beds and suffocate their fellow garden mates. But we were undaunted.

First, we created a trellis with wire fencing, zip ties, and real human blood (The wire fencing jumped and bit me). Then, we carefully untangled the vines and wove them into the wire while yelling “Back, ye beast!” If you’ve ever encountered a cucumber vine, you’ll know that they are prickly with a perpetual 5-o’clock shadow and have tendrils that grab at everything. After an hour on the garden  battlefield, Chris and I were triumphant. The vines were trellised. We successfully quarantined the cucumbers!

The Alliance Medical Ministry celebrated our win with a gift of fresh basil from the garden. We took our trophies and went home.

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