By Amanda Moses
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to harvest vegetables from a garden and then be able to take them straight to your kitchen table?
Well, members of Spring Creek Senior Partners’ (SCSP) gardening club were able to do just that at the Spring Creek Recreation Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC), located on Louisiana Avenue in the Freeport-Hornell Loop section of Spring Creek Towers (SCT).
Over the course of the summer, the seniors were able to whip out their green thumbs by digging deep in the dirt and harvesting delicious vegetation such as colossal collard greens, cucumbers, dill and basil at the SCRF/UCG garden, where they enjoyed regular visits.
The garden club is one of the many programs that promote SCSP’s ongoing effort to encourage and help older adults to understand how important it is to their health and independence to eat fresh and nutritious foods. “For the past year this program has really flourished, the seniors are enthusiastic to visit the garden and try different types of vegetables,” said Theodora Ziongas, director of SCSP. “We are so grateful for the SCRF/UCG garden because it is a beautiful part of the community and allows our seniors access to learn more about nutritious produce.”
The gardening program helps seniors to learn how to grow, cook and eat organic vegetables, herbs and fruits produced within their neighborhood garden. They are also able to enjoy seeing the various butterflies that are attracted to the colorful flowers. During their last visit of the summer, many of the seniors were amazed to learn that the SCRF/UCG garden hosts a pollinator habitat, which helps to enhance flower growth.
When Tatina Martemianova was a little girl, she used to love gardening in her previous home in Russia. Now that she is retired, she can still enjoy the hobby of gardening with her husband as they remove weeds, water and plant various vegetables at the SCRF/UCG garden. “I love to plant, especially flowers. It’s very nice and relaxing to be able to do it in my neighborhood.”
To learn more about the Spring Creek Senior Partners Garden Club at the SCRF/UCG, call 718- 348-7620
Did You Know…
Since its beginning in 2012, the Spring Creek Recreation Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC), garden has been a source of garden fresh, organic vegetables –from tomatoes, cucumbers, collard greens, carrots, lettuce, zucchini, peppers to strawberry, mint, rosemary, basil and more, which have been grown, tended and harvested by students in the local schools and summer camps.
SCRF created the UGC to help educate young people and the community’s residents about the natural sciences through a hands on experience, where they can learn more about plant growth and math concepts. In addition, the garden helps to encourage outdoor activity and eating healthier.