Tomatoes, zucchini and cucamelon – oh my! The summer staples are rolling in here at Lucille’s Garden. 

The big news from the garden is that on July 29, we officially passed 1000 lbs. of food donated this season!

Tomatoes on the vine



A thousand pound squash?

An early delicata squash tipped the scale pushing us over one thousand pounds of vegetables donated to the Media Food Bank this season.  We are excited to see what happens next with the warm season crops ripening every day. It is a true labor of love to grow and maintain this garden, and Elisa and I deeply appreciate everyone whose hard work brings it all together. Through the dedication of Tyler staff and volunteers, we’ve contributed to feeding our community this season, and that’s an absolute dream come true. 

Volunteers Nancy and Louise showcase the squash that tipped the scale.

We also had a great time at the July 28th Summer Sky Fireside, where we offered a lemonade tasting flavored with different herbal simple syrups made from the Tulsi, mint, sage, fennel, basil, lavender, and rosemary from the garden. We loved seeing people stop by to sample the different flavors, discover their new favorite, and learn how to grow them in their home gardens! Simple syrup is very “simple” to make. We’ll include a recipe at the end of this article.

Tulsi growing in Lucille's Garden

Queen of Herbs

The crowd favorite from Summer Sky Fireside was tulsi, or holy basil. Tulsi, holy basil, or spice basil is a herb commonly grown in Southeast Asia, where it is used medicinally, as tea, and in culinary practice. With a mild spice and a great natural sweetness, tulsi lends a complex and floral taste to dishes (or lemonade) and is said to have stress-reducing properties. The plant is compact and beautiful, with excellent mildew resistance and lovely purple flowers that the pollinators adore. With all that going for it, it’s easy to see why tulsi has been called “The Queen of Herbs”. So please stop by to see it in the garden on your next visit! 

Lucille’s Garden Herbal Simple Syrup

  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • A hand full of herbs to taste

Boil water and mix in sugar until fully dissolved. Take off the heat. Muddle selected herbs in a separate heat-proof container and then pour boiling sugar mixture over it. Steep for at least 30 minutes or up to two days. Strain and serve in lemonade, tea, seltzer water, over ice cream – however you like! Strained simple syrup will store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.


We’ve had so much fun at the past three firesides that we will hold another in the fall. Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 5, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. We are excited to celebrate another season here at Tyler.


And check out our August Calendar. We hold tasting stations in the garden most Sundays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm so you can sample some of what we’ve grown.