Garden to table endeavours at both Cashmere Home and Cashmere Heights Home in Johnsonville have proved to be “magical”, the homes’ manager Karen Rhind says.
“Residents at both the homes have tended the gardens and harvested spinach, leeks, beetroot, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini and rhubarb.”
Karen says the recreation team at the two Enliven homes then work with the residents to use the fresh produce to make delicious things such as rhubarb strudel cake, rhubarb muffins, spinach frittata and leek and potato pie.
“We have so many residents involved in these activities from planting, tending, watering, and harvesting, to researching and reading recipes, measuring, cutting, stirring and smelling ingredients, greasing tins and enjoying the smell of baking wafting through the air,” says Karen.
“The residents generally choose what they want to make or let us know what is ready in the garden so we can suggest different recipes they might like to try.”
She adds that this approach to gardening and cooking reflects Enliven’s philosophy of care, which follows the Eden Alternative.
“These activities are so integral to the Eden philosophy in so many ways; they help minimise boredom, provide residents with the opportunity to help and give to others, and to contribute to the meals for the homes.
“They are also about growth as residents learn new recipes and skills or regain skills – it’s never too late to learn something new!”
Excess bounties of spinach, lettuce and rhubarb harvested from the gardens have gone to the home’s kitchens to be turned into pies, salads and desserts for all residents to enjoy.