Green-thumbed care home residents grow their own

Residents at Whitegates Care Home in Hastings are reaping the rewards of a ‘grow your own’ project, which has seen them grow all types of fruit and vegetables in the garden of the care home.

What started with only a few residents has blossomed into a large group of keen, green-thumbed residents who have shown a great interest in growing and harvesting the produce, which so far has consisted of everything from tomatoes and runner beans to parsnips and strawberries.

Whitegates’ garden is also home to a small orchard of apple trees, which residents love to harvest. This year there has been a bumper crop, and the first few homemade apple pies of the year have already been enjoyed by residents and staff alike.

The catering team at the Greensleeves Care home have enjoyed incorporating the ongoing harvest into the seasonal menu, and residents have enjoyed eating the food that they watched progress from the seed to the plate!

Prior to this summer, the Whitegates garden had a new decking area installed, which allows more seating opportunities for residents. As well as fruit and vegetables, several residents have used this accessible decking area to sit at the tables and plant flowers in pots.

Home Manager, Clint Farmer, said:

“I think the project is fantastic, a real team effort from both residents and staff. Engaging in the project has had a great effect on our residents and makes a real difference in their daily lives. The project has promoted interaction with each other along with reminiscence of what they use to grow in their own gardens.

“The residents have really enjoyed picking the apples from the trees, and the families have enjoyed following their progress both in person and via photos on our Facebook page. The residents have already started to talk about what to grow next.”