Pinch what you need, use what you pinch. In a nutshell, that’s what the Bellevue Herb Garden is all about. Each
summer since 2015, free fresh herbs have been available for the community’s use.
For six years, neighbors have been invited to take herbs, as needed, from the volunteer garden located along Lincoln Ave, Bellevue. It sat at the front of the former YMCA property, next door to Kuhn’s Market. Kuhn’s purchased the property in January, however, and that garden’s future is unknown.
Bellevue Herb Garden Committee Chairwoman, Linda Carroll, of Bellevue, said a search for a new location landed them two. “Two locations came through very quickly,” she said. Herbs will soon be growing outdoors at the Andrew Bayne Memorial Library on Balph Ave and at a garden and planters at the Lutheran Services Society at North Howard and Lincoln.
Last weekend, the committee, along with several volunteers, prepared the two
new sites for planting. Compost was worked into the soil a the library site. The Lutheran Services Society location, however, required a little more muscle. Volunteers removed sod, rototilled the ground and spread compost.
Courtney Steinmiller, the Lutheran Services Program Manager, and a few seniors came by to watch the progress. “It will be really nice to have our participants help in the garden,” she said. Gerry Bosse, an active senior, expects to occasionally weed and water the herbs. “Anything I can do to help, I do,” Boss said. She lives nearby and admits the Lutheran Services Society has served as a lifeline during the pandemic with daily contact and meal delivery. She is hopeful senior activities such as lunches, bingo and social gatherings can resume at the center soon.
Planting day will take place on June 5th. Several herbs are being nurtured from seed by committee members and others will be divided or purchased. Offerings will include lavender, tarragon, thyme, basil, beebalm, mint, rosemary and more. Community members – non-Bellevue residents included – are encouraged to stop by throughout the summer to take what they need.
The Bellevue Herb Garden Committee was developed by Carroll as a subcommittee of Bona Fide Bellevue. Bona Fide Bellevue is a volunteer effort invested in the growth, diversity and beauty of the borough. While Carroll is the visionary (although she takes credit for only calling the meetings), the strengths of the core committee guarantee the garden’s success. Andre Contes brings cooking expertise to the table, suggesting which herbs to plant. Mary Carroll designs and plans the new gardens. Dee Zaleta is known for her passion and strong work ethic. Leann Chaney, a Master Gardener, knows what and when and where to plant. “I’m very good with vegetables and herbs but flowers? Not so much,” Chaney laughed. All have a passion for gardening.
The committee has relied on volunteers in the past to help water and weed the herb garden. The need will continue at the new locations. Since its start, nearly 60 volunteers have pitched in. “It’s really been a community effort, not just a few people, who have done all the work,” Carroll said.
To volunteer at the garden, email Linda Carroll at Linda@bonafidebellevue.org.
To learn more about Lutheran Services Society, email Courtney.Steinmiller@lutheranseniorlife.org.