Community Garden yields delicious harvest
As the fall and harvest time begins, the R.K. Macdonald is one spot in town where a community of people are already seeing the fruits — and herbs, and vegetables — of their labour.
Residents spent the summer growing a variety of food and ornamental plants in the community garden, and their efforts made the garden flourish throughout the growing season.
On the way to see how well the garden has fared over the course of the spring and summer, a resident named John told the Casket that he made a point of visiting the garden throughout the spring and summer, as often as he could, to check up on the progress of the many crops.
"It’s very exciting," he said. "I like looking at the growth every day."
Mary Partridge, who handles recreation, volunteers and horticulture with the R.K. Macdonald Nursing Home, said the community garden is the product of the diligent work of many residents who tend to their plants every day.
The benefit of the garden is twofold, Partridge said, since not only does it give those with a green thumb an outlet for their talents. It also creates a comfortable environment to enjoy nature for those who may not be interested in growing anything themselves.
"People participate at their own level. Some people just want to admire the garden, while others want to get their hands in the dirt and help grow things," Partridge said.
The Community Garden contains a wide variety of edible and ornamental plants, making full use of the area behind the R.K. Macdonald, converting what would otherwise be a mundane area into a beautiful green space.
"It has been a good growing season," Partridge said, noting residents have grown, and already harvested an assortment of herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard, cucumbers, string beans and yellow beans.
The yield of the garden depends entirely on what the residents want to grow, Partridge said, noting that it’s very inspiring to see the diligent, devoted work the residents put into growing, weeding, watering and generally caring for the plants they grow.
Residents have also been eager to incorporate the harvested vegetables into their own meals, Partridge said, adding cucumber sandwiches are one of the many popular dietary options showing how residents have enriched their own lifestyles through the cultivation of fresh food in the community garden.
The work for the garden began well before the sun was shining in the summer, with seedlings being sprouted in the winter that preceded the more traditional growing season.
Many of the people who have grown something in the garden this year are just looking to maintain their hobbies while living at the R.K. Macdonald, Partridge noted. Many of them had and maintained gardens at their old homes before they moved to the R.K. Macdonald. If anything, their talent is on display now, in the bountiful yields of the community garden.
Sadie Boyd, Gordon Tibbo, Ray Murphy, and his granddaughter Emily, enjoying the community garden at the R.K. Macdonald Nursing Home.