Vegetables, hobbies sprout at Maplewood

Maplewood residents and staff started vegetables from seeds inside a small greenhouse they made in the Brighton long-term care home.

‘There are two residents who are right into it’

From fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in their salads to pickling their own beets, good things are starting to sprout in Maplewood’s gardens.

It may be a cooler spring, but the vegetable plants in the garden beds at the Brighton long-term care home are growing to meet expectations.

Staff and residents of Maplewood created a small greenhouse in the home and planted seeds, getting them started in pots before the spring weather arrived. Then just after the Victoria Day weekend, staff and residents moved the plants outdoors.

“They’re doing really well,” says life enrichment aide Rosanne Blackburn.

She notes the vegetables are beginning to sprout in the home’s four raised planters. Residents joined in on the planting and continue to tend to the watering needs as well.

“There are two residents (in particular) who are right into it.”

In time, Maplewood is hoping to have cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, green onions and beets. The vegetables will be used in meals and this year the home’s planning to pickle beets “so hopefully we will get enough to do that,” Roseanne notes.

Residents and staff will be weeding throughout the summer. Because the beds are raised, residents who use wheelchairs are able to more easily participate in gardening activities.

Two years ago, Maplewood purchased lumber and a family member of a former resident, who is also a carpenter, volunteered to build four wooden table-like planters.

The vegetable beds are amidst perennials and other plants in a tranquil space in the home’s backyard, which is enjoyed by residents, staff and families alike.

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