The Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic Garden: Community, Cooking, and Culture
The Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic provides free medical care to local residents facing a variety of health issues, including type II diabetes, obesity and heart disease. To promote patient dialogue on the role of diet and exercise to prevent or reverse these diseases, clinic staff and Beersheba residents want to establish a garden on clinic land and hold cooking workshops at the Community Center that use garden produce. Sewanee students, faculty and staff are working collaboratively to help Beersheba Springs realize this short term vision. The Beersheba Springs community garden and cooking workshops pilot project offers an opportunity to explore elements of a broader more long term vision for preserving and honoring the region’s southern Appalachian culture and self-sufficiency.
In the summer of 2015, Deb McGrath and Mark Preslar received grant funds to (1) expand the clinic garden, (2) develop cooking workshops and (3) create a heritage cooking and garden guide that integrates cherished recipes and stories told by local residents with new recipes that incorporate healthy garden produce.