Green thumbs enjoying the fruits of their labour

Green thumbs at Willaura Health Care Parkland House are enjoying working in their new kitchen garden as well as cooking up a storm with the fruits of their labour.

East Grampians Health Service received $110,000 from the Department of Health (PSRACS and Community Kitchen Garden Grants 2020-2021) to construct outdoor community kitchen gardens at Parkland House Hostel Willaura, 70 Lowe Street, Garden View Court.

The garden at Willaura is now complete with residents starting to enjoy the benefits.

The garden includes six raised beds, garden storage shed, lighting and clear pathways for access and to engage residents with outdoor activities, encouraging them to come outside and plant vegetables and then eventually cook with them in the hostel and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Leisure and Lifestyle coordinator at Willaura, Michelle Maslen, said the benefits of the garden are already evident amongst the residents.

“Residents walk down every day when the weather’s fine to see what’s growing, one resident checks the plants, another waters, and another, Graeme Newson, is the planter and overall guardian of the beds!” Ms Maslen said.

“We often go down to the rotunda to exercise and chat about the garden beds. One chap Joe Skubnik walks around to see them every afternoon.”

Already residents are enjoying cooking with an abundance of vegetables, including potatoes and silverbeet.

“We are now waiting on the other vegetables to grow so we can use them. We have bok choy, beetroot, tomatoes, beans, strawberries and rhubarb growing and we plan to pick the rhubarb and make apple and rhubarb pie.”

Work on the garden beds at Garden View Court and Lowe Street will commence in 2022.

Pictured is Parkland House Hostel resident Garry Moloney checking out the plantings in the raised garden beds