There’s nothing quite like the sensation of digging your hands into the earth and feeling the cool soil running through your fingers. Gardening can hold a remarkable sense of satisfaction, especially when you witness tiny seeds grow into thriving fruits, vegetables and plants.
At Redeemer Health Care Center, residents and volunteers know the feeling well.
What started as a humble indoor garden has flourished into a thriving outdoor haven, abundant with fruits and vegetables that play a role in enhancing residents’ meals. Beyond the bounty of fresh produce, the garden has nurtured a deep sense of fulfillment and connection among the residents and volunteers who devote themselves to its care each day.
A Bountiful Harvest
Residents and volunteers started the outdoor garden using a variety of seeds from Garden in a Box from the MN Horticultural Society. Each vegetable and fruit tells its own unique story of resilience and care.
The garden boasts an impressive assortment of fruits and vegetables including peppers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, kale, spinach, cucumbers, green onion, chives, basil, beans, sage, strawberries, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, corn and radishes.
Cultivating Wellbeing and Purpose
The garden offers residents a profound sense of connection and purpose, significantly impacting their overall wellbeing.
According to Administrator Samuel Pahl, a resident, volunteers and the community’s activities team dedicate their time to the garden each day. The resident mentioned to Samuel that his first task upon waking up is to water the garden. Samuel noted that the resident also spends multiple sessions working in the garden throughout the day.
“The garden provides our residents with a sense of purpose,” Samuel says. “I believe that this is needed for each resident that resides at Redeemer. Being able to see the smiles on the faces of the residents that get to see their hard work pay off is what I believe this work is all about.”
Making an Impact
The garden’s influence extends beyond the residents themselves. The culinary team at Redeemer Health Care Center has enthusiastically seized the opportunity to prepare meals using the freshest ingredients cultivated right on the premises.
Cucumbers have been used to create refreshing infused water on hot summer days. The cooks expertly incorporate herbs into the meals served to residents, enhancing dishes with flavors that beautifully complement fish, chicken and more. The assortment of vegetables grown in the garden are featured in salads and in a variety of dishes.
Matt, a dedicated chef at Redeemer Health Care Center, cherishes the experience of cooking with such a wealth of fresh ingredients.
“It is an honor to be able to cook for all of our residents,” Matt says. “Being able to see the fruit of their labor firsthand in the meals that we prepare is something that we in the kitchen do not take for granted. Being able to cook with such fresh ingredients helps us provide our residents with great quality of food.”
Bill, a volunteer at Redeemer Health Care Center, finds immense fulfillment in tending to the garden.
“I do this to spend time with the residents and to see our work progress each day we work outside,” Bill says. “It feels great to be able to give back to our residents by seeing the food start in the garden and end up on their plates.”
Harvesting Growth and Connection
The garden at Redeemer Health Care Center stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and unity. It is a tangible reminder that by coming together, we have the capacity to positively impact the lives of others.
Thank you, Redeemer Health Care Center, for embodying this spirit and enriching both your community and the world around you.