Cultivar Farms, located at 122 Commerce in Boerne, is an initiative sponsored by the Hill Country Mission for Health (HCMH) focusing on educating about vegetable growing and its nutritional benefits. Members donate instruction and leadership designed to reach across socioeconomic and age barriers, encouraging the enjoyment and experience of gardening.
HCMH is a medical ministry providing charitable primary healthcare for eligible low-income, uninsured adults residing in Kendall County and surrounding communities through strong non-governmental support. Because many HCMH patients struggle with diabetes, Cultivar Farms was founded with the purpose of providing healthy fruits and vegetables to offset packaged goods that contain non-healthy ingredients.
Master Gardeners Shirley Smith and Judy Beauford have been the co-coordinators for the operations of the garden since 2015. Michael Bell, also a Master Gardener, has been volunteering for two years and is transitioning to take over as coordinator.
In the beginning, groups from the YMCA in Boerne volunteered with the planting and maintenance of the Summer, Fall and Winter plantings. There are sixteen rows, 30 feet long, maintained to grow many garden vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, kale, Swiss chard, beans, okra, onions, watermelons and cantaloupes. Currently, the output from the garden is between 1700 and 1900 pounds of produce per year, mostly donated to the Hill Country Family Services and the HCMH clinic.
In October, the Boerne Chapter of Young Men’s Service League offered 400 hours in which they weeded, mulched, maintained the walkways and refurbished the store room. If you or one of your groups are interested in volunteering, please contact Michael Bell at allenpoke.72@gmail. They would love your assistance in keeping this beautiful garden thriving for years to come!