YONKERS, N.Y. -- The women of the Center for Family Support's Oberman Residence were initially hesitant about planting a garden four years ago, but today the garden is a thriving success.
“At first a few of them were not receptive to the idea of helping to plant the vegetables and when we returned from the store they stated that dirt and bugs were not their idea of a good time," said Residence Manager Sharon Wilson. "We also asked for volunteers to tend to the garden by watering or pulling the weeds and in that first year, we had very little response."
"Each year we replanted and through the years the benefits of the garden began to grow on the ladies and so, it grew in size and scope and we are now planting a variety of vegetables and have many caretakers," said Wilson. "The individuals realize that they can be more involved and some decided to water the garden a few nights a week and some on weekends and others wanted to weed. Even though initially they resisted the vegetable garden, it eventually became an event they looked forward to.”
The garden is currently approximately 15 by 7 feet with green and red cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes and more.
“At The Center for Family Support, we stress independence and we pride ourselves on helping our residents develop a plan to help them to be more independent and to do what they feel will make them happy and give them a fulfilling life," said Wilson. "The garden achieved this goal in a few ways. First, the individuals find that having a vegetable garden is wonderful because they have fresh produce just handpicked. They enjoy going out into the garden and hand picking their favorite vegetable and will enter the kitchen with perfectly ripened tomatoes for cooking. We use the hand picked cabbage in a favorite dish of theirs....corn beef and cabbage, which also gave us leftovers for lunches."
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