Did you know that SHIM’s 15 Community Gardens grew more than 15,000 pounds of produce for South Hills families last summer? While volunteers grow a variety of familiar vegetables, they also plant some less recognizable produce. SHIM serves a large population of foreign-born families who often use gourds and hot peppers in their cooking. SHIM is thankful to have dedicated volunteers like Master Gardener Karen Pritz cultivating nutritious crops.
Meet Karen. The daughter of a Missouri farmer, Karen grew up gardening. After a career as a chemical engineer working for technology companies, Karen retired the year SHIM started its garden program. One of Karen’s retirement goals was to obtain her Master Gardener Certificate. After earning it from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens she decided to use her gardening expertise to help the Catholic Men’s Fellowship Group at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church establish their garden. Karen speaks about the community unity that comes from the gardens, saying “everyone here has the clients and those in need in their hearts and that’s why they’re here.”
Karen helps guide volunteers, many of whom are experienced gardeners, in the planning and planting of the garden. We are grateful to Karen and the hard-working volunteers at the community gardens who grow nutritious produce and donate it to families who visit SHIM’s food pantries.
Learn more about volunteering here.