Ode to the Gardening Seniors

by Grace Morrissey, VGN Garden Education Intern

So much has been growing in our senior gardens as spring has slowly turned to summer. Both plants and people have begun to flourish in the warm weather. Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy filling up the garden plots, planting seeds and starts of all varieties; from tomatoes and cucumbers to pole beans, peppers, beets, carrots, leafy greens, and a wealth of herbs to be used in dishes for the whole community. At the Ethan Allen Residence, Washington (pictured below) and Evette are a dynamic duo that are constantly waltzing around the gardens together. The pair brings wonder and dedication to every garden class as they complete all the activities side by side whether they are planting, weeding, laying straw or harvesting herbs. Taking care of our plant friends takes time both in and out of the garden; just two weeks ago we showed the garden some love by designing signs to help identify each plant. Gathered around a table we shared stories as folks got to painting, some people reconnected with old passions, while others discovered their artistic talent for the first time. Below friends Karen and Mary share a laugh as they hold up two completed pieces. Last week we got a taste of what’s to come later in the season when we had our first garden harvest, collecting garlic scapes for a homemade pesto. After lots of tedious chopping we ground sunflower seeds, basil, garlic scapes, and parmesan together using a mortar and pestle. The garlic flavor was powerful and delicious! We shared joy in creating a dish from homegrown ingredients and gave the rest of our harvest to the kitchen team so the scapes could be used in dishes throughout the rest of the week. The garden keeps growing and even more harvests will be upon us soon. We’re lucky to be able to share the garden with so many lovely people.

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