Journalist praises Almonte Country Haven for its green thumb

Pictured above are cherry tomatoes from Almonte Country Haven's garden.

Pictured above are cherry tomatoes from Almonte Country Haven’s garden. (Photo courtesy of David Hinks/The Millstone. Used by permission)

Life enrichment department also gets kudos for the resident engagement the home’s garden creates

A chance meeting between Almonte Country Haven administrator Carolyn Della Foresta and local newspaper columnist David Hinks led to the journalist and avid green thumb taking a tour of the home, where he marvelled at its garden and praised the people who created it.

Hinks and Della Foresta were at the Almonte farmers’ market in early October when they started chatting. Hinks, who writes for The Millstone, a local newspaper, started talking about gardening with Della Foresta. The administrator wanted the reporter to see the fruits – or, more accurately, the vegetables and herbs – of the life enrichment team’s efforts.

After visiting the Lanark County long-term care home, Hinks wrote a warm-hearted review in The Millstone of Almonte Country Haven’s garden and the life enrichment team that created it.

(Photo courtesy of David Hinks/The Millstone. Used by permission.)

(Photo courtesy of David Hinks/The Millstone. Used by permission.)

Hinks writes of life enrichment co-ordinator Naomi Redner: “Her five-member team has created a real haven for the residents. Without formal training in horticulture, or the therapeutic uses of gardening, they have listened to and watched residents and are very aware of what they respond to. As well, a residents’ council meets monthly and the residents do not hesitate to tell staff what they want.”

He goes on to praise staff members for engaging residents in the gardening process by encouraging them to help.

“The staff is acutely aware of the rural and small-town background of their residents and that the preponderance of them have been involved in gardening throughout their lives,” Hinks writes.

“They count gardening as one of their best programs with its focus on getting residents outdoors and in touch with nature; a program that I believe is truly therapeutic.”

Hinks also praises Almonte Country Haven for using the garden’s vegetables and herbs, which include tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, oregano and basil, in the meals prepared at the home.

Click here to read the story published in The Millstone.

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