Growing Community Spirit through Gardening


Tomatoes. Green peppers. Strawberries. Community spirit.
These are just a few of the many things growing at Edgemoor’s community garden.


Edgemoor is the County’s skilled nursing facility and it’s located in Santee.

The garden, consisting of 18 plots, opened earlier this year and Edgemoor patients, staff and community residents have been harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables for their own consumption. Currently, there are three plots available for people wishing to garden.

“The garden is a way for the community to interact,” said Frances Schaad, volunteer coordinator for Edgemoor. “It helps build community spirit and fills a need in the community for people who want to garden.”

Obesity has become an epidemic across the United States. Lack of access to healthy foods is considered to be a contributing factor. One way to address this concern is by increasing the number of community gardens where residents can grown their own fruits and vegetables.

Edgemoor’s community garden was created through Healthy Works, an initiative that promotes wellness and addresses the obesity problem by making systems and environmental changes. Healthy Works is a component of the County’s Live Well, San Diego!, a 10-year plan to improve the health and well-being of area residents.

The garden not only gives people increased access to fresh, organic produce, but also helps with their mental, physical and emotional health.

During her daily walk through the garden, Schaad is able to see the great job  the gardeners are doing and produce they are harvesting.

 “They do a very good job. The garden is a success,” she said, adding that Edgemoor is always looking for volunteers not only in the garden but throughout the facility.

People wishing to harvest their own plot or to volunteer at Edgemoor should contact Frances Schaad at (619) 596-6356. 

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact