Gardening program takes root at Maplewood

Family members build, donate planter boxes

As the cucumber plant is beginning to sprout, so are the possibilities for a gardening program at Maplewood.

Courtesy of a donation from the family members of a former resident, current residents of the Brighton long-term care home will be able to exercise their green thumbs or explore a new hobby.

The former resident’s relative is a carpenter who offered to build four raised planter boxes for Maplewood’s property.

The home has purchased the lumber and materials for the project and is eagerly awaiting the finished product, says Rachel Corkery, administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Maplewood.

“We saved some money and not only will we have great planter boxes, we have some active past veggie gardeners so we can eat what’s grown too,”  Rachel says.

“This is a purposeful activity for them. Residents want to keep busy. I think the staff are looking forward to it too.”

During the warmer months, Maplewood strives to move as many programs and activities outdoors as possible.

“It’s very tranquil out there,” Rachel says, gesturing to the outdoor space at the side of the long-term care home.

Meanwhile, as the planters are being built, residents and staff are already growing plants that they’ve started indoors for the planter boxes.

Maplewood has also completed the spring garden cleanup.

In coming days, gardening will be a regular activity on the calendar on a weekly basis. Residents will also have the informal opportunity to tend to the gardens as the needs and tasks grow when the plants become established.

In the meantime, residents and staff are tending to their plants, which include yellow beans, green onions, snowbird peas, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Maplewood expects the gardening program will both flourish and nourish.

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