Residents of La Veta Village Assisted Living are enjoying their raised garden!
It was made possible through the efforts of many caring individuals. Our resident's safety was the primary concern of Sheri Wiens in administration, along with staff, family, and the volunteers involved. Funds were raised through grants and donations. Big R, Whispering Oaks and the La Veta Village Auxiliary were contributors.
Susan Simons, one of our many dedicated volunteers, learned of raised gardens at assisted living residences from local La Vetans. Susan raised the funds and coordinated the planting of the landscape at La Veta Village. Susan has lived in the area for fifteen years and became our Volunteer Garden Coordinator after retiring as a faculty member of Community College of Denver where she taught writing. She worked for several years as an editor for The World Journal. Susan volunteered in Denver for a homeless women's shelter where she held a writing group.
Susan feels the family-style environment of La Veta Village helps to give added support to our residents. They identify any concerns during their resident-conducted monthly council meetings, and they are quickly resolved.
This spring interested residents purchased and planted their selected seeds in egg cartons and they were placed on the dining room windowsills. They enjoyed getting their hands in the dirt! Susan ordered the raised bed 32 inches high, 5 feet long, and 2 feet wide. The bed is constructed with food-safe stainless steel with rounded bolts and is surrounded by a fence.
In early June the small plants were planted by Kaye Wainscott, Dr. William Cluff, Martha Romero, and Sally Ortega. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, strawberries, and some flowers to discourage deer were planted. Irish Spring Soap placed around the perimeter also helped. The plants were diligently cared for by the residents both actively, and by those cheering them on while viewing from the porch. Everyone is enjoying the fresh produce at mealtime!
Susan has seen moments of real joy and growing friendships among the residents as they are working together, and when they are talking about the garden. It is their own and, in their control, yet they have help when needed.
Lessons learned are to select plants with shorter growing seasons, learn more about the selected plants, and plant less. Susan will write a grant to the Colorado Garden Foundation to purchase five more raised beds to enable residents to each have their own garden tub in the future. The tubs will be sheltered from the deer and surrounded by a sidewalk. We hope to learn the outcome of the grant in January.
Tetanus bacteria is in dirt, soil, and dust.
A tetanus booster vaccine is required every ten years.
Gardening apparel should include skin, ear, eye protection, gloves, and sturdy shoes.
7 Scientific Reasons Gardening is Good for You
1. Relieves stress
2. Counts as exercise
3. Hinders dementia
4. Helps to fight chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes
5. Connects people
6. Improves your mood and self-esteem
7. You eat a healthier diet
Finally, the frost has come to pass.
I feel the cool brown earth dust falling through my fingers.
Beetle and worm regard my disturbance as I work the land.
The musky scent of life prevails.
Break up those clay clods!
Add them to the sand.
Stir the eclectic stew.
Bits of leaf, foliage, and decay bring character to the mulch.
Better rid the rocks as they may hamper growth.
Assign them as markers for rows, upon rows, upon rows.
No need for signposts here!
A glorious day has come to pass.
Where did it go?
The seeds are sown with anticipation of green life.
Breaking through the earth of my garden.