Posted on: July 29, 2016
Cazenovia Recovery welcomes our residents’ interest in gardening as an activity that promotes their well-being. Our gardens also show what great neighbors our programs can be.
Falonia LaMar is site supervisor at Sundram Manor in Niagara Falls, which has a beautiful flower garden. All residents of the facility were invited to participate in its creation and maintenance. “Our residents did everything,” Falonia said, “They did planting, mulching, edging, painting and transferring of plants.”
Sundram residents Greg, Mark, Manuel, Christopher, Toby, and Dan were especially helpful, along with our maintenance team and Bryan Sullivan, facility assistant. Results were on display on July 23, when the City of Niagara Falls held a garden walk.
Some of the residents greeted people as the public visited their garden. They explained the mission of Sundram Manor, gave tours, and shared the fact that they are in recovery. The residence is now an active member of the Memorial Parkway Block Club. “The Block Club was really, really impressed to see so many people working hard outside of Sundram Manor,” Falonia said.
The value of such participation during recovery is great, she said. “It allowed our residents to learn about leadership, responsibility and conflict resolution. They held frequent meetings to work out plans together.”
At Liberty Hall located on the Veterans Administration campus in Batavia, there is a flourishing vegetable garden. Shared with the PTSD Center for Hope, both organizations are responsible for watering.
Carlos, who grew up on a vegetable farm, and two other Liberty Hall residents are active participants. “We call it the Freedom Garden,” he said, reporting that they planted tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, beans and collard greens. Carlos, a resident of two months, was a chef for 13 years. Passionate about fresh ingredients and healthy eating, he is eager for the harvest, which will continue in the weeks ahead. He already cooked collard greens. Cherry tomatoes are nearly ready to be picked. “I make a really good squash medley,” he noted.
Most important to him is that the vegetable garden helps in his recovery. “It takes the stress off and clears my mind a bit,” he said. “And it makes me thankful for what I do have.”
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