Healthy Living, Farm to Table

Tending to the garden.

Farm to table is all the rage in restaurants across the country. This growing season Thrive’s Fairmont residence jumped on the farm-to-table bandwagon by planting their own garden and using the fruits of their labor for communal meals. The garden consisted of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, green and purple basil, flat-leaf and Italian parsley, thyme and lemon thyme.

Nutritious eating has been a focus for Fairmont’s residents and staff in recent years. Now in their third year of maintaining a garden, the process has become fine-tuned. Spring is kicked off with a vote from residents on what to plant. Decisions are made based on fan-favorite veggies and what items would be best for cooking. Upkeep of the garden is shared among many residents. This year upkeep has been mostly focused on keeping weeds at bay, maintaining proper moisture levels, and harvesting.

Ripe and ready for picking.

While many of the fruits and veggies are eaten right off the vine, participants are reaping the nutritional benefits of eating homegrown herbs, fruits, and vegetables. James Fairbanks, Fairmont Hill Program Director shared, “Participants like Barry and Bill love harvesting the vegetables and many other participants also help out. Barri-Lynne, Jimmy, Bill, James and sometimes John, Dennis and Phillip all pitch in. Yesterday Barri-Lynne picked a variety of herbs and was proud to show me how much she had picked for the meal last night.”

Fairbanks adds, “Planting and maintaining the garden has had a positive impact in the home. Cooking from scratch and using fresh ingredients, our residents have gained an awareness of the importance of good nutrition.  Combined with the shared responsibility of tending the garden and the benefits of gardening as a form of exercise, it has been a win-win for all. Next year our plan is to expand our garden and get more residents involved.”