Planting and tending to Victory Gardens at Pathway to Living communities is truly a labor of love for resident gardeners.
“I love planting and grooming the garden, because it reminds me of being at home,” said Ms. Willie Walker from Victory Centre of South Chicago. “Seeing the vegetables grow makes me happy.”
Gardening brings the growers an abundance of joy and benefits—from physical to social to spiritual—but the best perk by far is getting to eat the home-grown veggies!
Tomatoes are a perennial favorite.
“There's nothing like picking a fresh cherry tomato off the vine and popping it in my mouth,” says Aspired Living of Westmont gardener Ken, who routinely waters the herbs and vegetables in the bistro garden and tends to the flowers on the rooftop terrace. “The taste is exceptional.”
In addition to tomatoes, Aspired Living gardeners, along with help from their friends at the Darian Garden Club, are growing cucumbers, green beans, peas, green onions, pumpkins and a variety of herbs, including basil, chives, oregano and more.
Victory Centre of South Chicago’s Culinarian Felipe Flores uses the community’s homegrown, Victory Garden tomatoes and jalapenos for Pico De Gallo, a favorite among residents.
At Age Well Centre for Life Enrichment in Green Bay, WI, residents enjoy mixing their tomatoes with cucumbers and feta cheese for a light, refreshing summer salad.
Why Gardening is Good for Older Adults
Gardening can offer enough moderate physical activity to keep older adults in shape. Physical activities such as digging, planting, weeding and harvesting build endurance, flexibility and strength.
What’s more, gardening is a real stress buster! It can help relieve feelings of anxiety and provide a break from the general routine of life. Gardeners have a chance to think, meditate or just spend time daydreaming. They can also feel a sense of accomplishment at seeing their efforts pay off with an abundant harvest.
Pathway to Living communities feature “Victory Gardens” in backyard courtyards, on rooftop patios and inside greenhouses. Residents enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of gardening as well as the harvest, much of which is used by Culinary Experience Managers to create fresh and delicious garden-to-table cuisine.
Learn more at pathwaytoliving.com.