Several years ago, Sarah Medley, activity director at Life Care Center of Collegedale, embarked on a gardening project for the facility’s residents. The idea started out simple and small: to create an environment in which residents could continue their lifetime love of gardening. However, over the years, the garden project has also transformed residents’ dining experiences.
“I get chills when I see residents close their eyes in delight while smelling a freshly sliced cucumber or eating fried squash that was picked minutes before,” Ms. Medley said.
“I grew up on a farm, so my family was always used to having fresh vegetables and fruits every day,” said resident Virginia Lyon. “I like the thought of being able to go right outside to pick something fresh to eat.”
Today, you can find activity associates passing out caprese salad bites for sampling or playing a game of “Guess the Smell” with the fresh herbs from the courtyard garden. The facility’s executive chef, baker and registered dietician have been using the fresh vegetables and herbs to enhance their daily menu selections.
Courtney Flynn, dietitian, made a gluten-free zucchini nut bread that residents raved about and was able to subtract 2,200 calories from the typical zucchini nut bread loaf.
For more information about the garden, please call Sarah Medley at 396-2182.