COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Under a bright sunny sky on a balmy autumn afternoon, a vegetable garden at Ohio State University’s Waterman Farm became a center of nutritional education.

The JamesCare for Life’s Garden of Hope, perched along a gentle hill sloping to the east, is open to cancer survivors during sign-up events from June through October. More than 20,000 plants, including fruits, vegetables and herbs, from tomatoes to peppers, kale and squash, are free of charge for cancer survivors and their caregivers, guided by OSU staff.

Naturally occurring chemicals boost the immune system and tackle carcinogens and substances that cause inflammation in the body that can potentially cause DNA damage.

“I teach them how to prepare plant-based diets with all the fresh produce that they get out here,” said Candice Schreiber, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.