Tips from TAPS: Community supports seniors and gardening

Web Lead

Ask an older gardener how they got started, and many will mention picking peas with grandma or husking corn with grandpa. Tradi-tionally, elders of all cultures are the keepers of knowledge whose life experiences and skills enrich the entire community. In our modern mobile society, living close to relatives and in close-knit, multigenerational communities is uncommon, so many youngsters are missing out on the wisdom and nurturing of elders. On the flip side, seniors are more than ever segregated from society and have few opportunities to be involved in their community or share their wisdom. When seniors and kids come together regularly to work with plants and gardens, some of their key developmental needs are met — those related to belonging, generosity and learning. Children have the benefit of stable, older role models and mentors; they hone social skills by interacting with someone so much older. Seniors are invigorated and stimulated by children’s energy and enthusiasm.

The Vancouver Foundation has supported the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors and Family Place to develop an intergenerational growing, harvesting and cooking program which will start this month. Anita Sawyer and her helpers at the community greenhouse at the College of the Rockies have experience with this type of program and will supply the leadership. Seniors, young parents and children will work together in the greenhouse and then plan and cook meals with the produce.

The growing and harvesting of a garden and cooking the bounty of it is also an opportunity for both groups who may not be eating well. All involved learn the nutritional value of basic, home grown foods. Cooking classes give a chance for them to see the full circle process.

TAPS seniors are building raised growing beds at the TAPS site, as well. Donations of materials from J.H. Huscroft mill, Pyramid Building Supplies and Home Hardware Building Centre have made this possible. TAPS is fortunate to be part of such a supportive community.

The Lions are hosting another of their signature breakfasts at TAPS on March 19. It was so popular last month that this week it will start at 8 a.m. and go until noon. Please join us at 402 22nd Ave. S. for breakfast and entertainment by Jesse Cress.

Watch for the Krafty Kronies’ annual Mother’s Day tea and craft sale on May 7. Famous TAPS pies will be served and sold.

As you can see, the Creston Valley continues to support TAPS. Thank you.

Terry Nowak is an outreach worker with the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.