At the Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend, Nordland Garden Club members — from left, Alice Tibbals, Sandy Haynes and Leslie Watkins — established a new patio garden earlier this month. Its vegetables and berries will go into the free meals prepared in the cafe kitchen. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

At the Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend, Nordland Garden Club members — from left, Alice Tibbals, Sandy Haynes and Leslie Watkins — established a new patio garden earlier this month. Its vegetables and berries will go into the free meals prepared in the cafe kitchen. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Recovery Cafe feeds body and soul

Haven adds kitchen garden on patio

PORT TOWNSEND — The Recovery Cafe patio, with its tables, chairs and view of Kah Tai Lagoon, looks like a good place to sit back, breathe the fresh air, and chill.

It has become that kind of place.

At the Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend, Nordland Garden Club members — from left, Alice Tibbals, Sandy Haynes and Leslie Watkins — established a new patio garden earlier this month. Its vegetables and berries will go into the free meals prepared in the cafe kitchen. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

At the Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend, Nordland Garden Club members — from left, Alice Tibbals, Sandy Haynes and Leslie Watkins — established a new patio garden earlier this month. Its vegetables and berries will go into the free meals prepared in the cafe kitchen. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

As of this spring, though, the patio in back of the cafe at 19th and Kearney streets is transforming into a place for work, growth and nourishment. In support of everybody who comes to the Recovery Cafe, the Nordland Garden Club and YourTinyFarm.org have established a substantial kitchen garden on the patio.

The three-way partnership has a single aim: supplying fresh produce for the Recovery Cafe’s weekly lunches and brunches.

The cafe, an arm of Jefferson County’s Dove House Advocacy Services, opened in 2020 as a haven for people in recovery from addiction or trauma of any kind. These days there are support groups, social activities, visits from the no-cost JC MASH healthcare providers and free meals prepared in the cafe kitchen.

Leslie Watkins, Alice Tibbals and Sandy Haynes of the Nordland Garden Club connected with the cafe as they were looking for a place to share their gardening skills.

The women applied for a $1,000 Plant America grant from National Garden Clubs Inc., and when they won it, they found more support from a couple of local businesses. Shold Landscape Products delivered a load of gravel and dirt for free, and then Cenex in Chimacum gave the club a 15 percent discount on the big troughs they’re using as container gardens.

Because of that discount, the women were able go from the planned four troughs to five. Those will be filled with leafy green vegetables, herbs and strawberries — “as many as we can get to sprout,” Tibbals said.

The 85-year-old Nordland Garden Club is collaborating with Your Tiny Farm, a nonprofit organization just getting started in Washington state.

Its mission, founder and Port Townsend resident Carolyn Lewis said, is to turn city spaces and backyards into fruit and vegetable gardens — and then share the harvest to local people who are in need.

Quincy, the Nordland Garden Club treasurer Sandy Haynes' dog, assisted club member Leslie Watkins as she helped put in a patio garden at the Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

Already established in Cloverdale, Rincon Valley, Healdsburg, Geyserville and Windsor, Calif., Your Tiny Farm’s first Washington garden is at the Recovery Cafe.

Lewis and her husband, Tim Hylas, also volunteer inside the cafe, he as a cook and she as the starter of its Facebook page. And Lewis is a Cafe Companion, who spends time conversing and sharing meals with members. The place has a welcoming and nondenominational feel to it, she said, adding newcomers are encouraged.

Free meals are served at 12:30 p.m. Thursdays and at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays; to learn more about the cafe, see https://www.recoverycafejc.org, find the “Dove House-Recovery Cafe” page on Facebook or phone 360-385-5292.

Meantime, as Your Tiny Farm fledges, Lewis is looking for other local gardening spaces. Much like the Food Bank Farm and Gardens network run by volunteers around East Jefferson County, she wants to find garden plots for growing vegetables — with and for people in need. Information is found at YourTinyFarm.org and by emailing carolynlewis@gmail.com.

The trio of partners in this venture — the Recovery Cafe, the Nordland Garden Club and Your Tiny Farm — together seek to give people a sense of belonging and empowerment.

The cafe is open Wednesday through Friday, with the complete calendar of activities posted on the front door and at https://www.recoverycafejc.org/#calendar.

As for the garden club, it has long been a organization built on the friendships among its women members. They continue to award scholarships to local students and donate to food banks and school programs around East Jefferson County.

To fund such things, the 57-member club holds fundraisers, including a major one next month.

The Nordland Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23 at their longtime clubhouse, 320 Garden Club Road on Marrowstone Island.

________

Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Becca Paul, a paraeducator at Jefferson Elementary in Port Angeles, helps introduce a new book for third-graders, from left, Margret Trowbridge, Taezia Hanan and Skylyn King, to practice reading in the Literacy Lab. The book is entitled “The Girl With A Vision.” (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
After two-year deal, PA paraeducators back to work

Union, school district agree to mediated contract with baseline increases

Police reform efforts stalled

Law enforcement sees rollback on restrictions

Pictured, from left, are Priya Jayadev, Lisa O’Keefe, Lisa Palermo, Lynn Hawkins and Astrid Raffinpeyloz.
Yacht club makes hospice donation

The Sequim Bay Yacht Club recently donated $25,864 to Volunteer Hospice of… Continue reading

Priscilla Hudson is a member of the Sequim Prairie Garden Club, which is responsible for clearing a weed- and blackberry-choked 4 acres of land and transforming it into an arboretum and garden known as the Pioneer Memorial Park over the last 70 years. (Emily Matthiessen/for Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Pioneer Memorial Park grows into an arboretum

Granted certification by ArbNet program

Members chosen for pool task force

Locations outside Port Townsend to get closer look

Bidder wins project on lottery drawing

Lake Pleasant pilings to be replaced in July

Corrections officer assaulted as inmate was about to be released

A Clallam County corrections sergeant was allegedly assaulted by… Continue reading

Firefighters rescue hiker near Dungeness lighthouse

Clallam County Fire District 3 crews rescued a man with… Continue reading

Jefferson County law library board seeks public input

The Jefferson County Law Library Board is seeking public… Continue reading

Nonprofits to gather at Connectivity Fair

Local 20/20 will host its 2024 Jefferson County Connectivity Fair… Continue reading

The Port Townsend Main Street Program is planning an Earth Day work party in the downtown area from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Earth Day cleanup events slated for Saturday

A variety of cleanup activities are planned around the North Olympic Peninsula… Continue reading