Tips from TAPS: Seniors enjoy excellent Creston Valley harvest

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You may remember that in the spring Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members and young families worked together at the College of the Rockies greenhouse to start plants for their gardens. Many of these plants were moved to raised beds built by volunteers at the TAPS site. Lumber, nails, sheet metal and whatever else was needed were donated by J.H. Huscroft, Pyramid Building Sup-plies and Home Hard-ware Building Centre.

With the care given them by seniors, these gardens have become a source for fresh vegetables and herbs used in the meals at TAPS. On their way out to the bus to go home, seniors simply help themselves to tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and spinach.

Ward is the chief custodian of the garden. He lives nearby and waters or weeds the plants at least every second day. Ward has several suggestions about how the garden can be improved upon next year: better soil, more pots, rich manure, different plants. Maryanne, Verna and Della also weed regularly and harvest herbs and vegetables. A second crop of lettuce and spinach is now ready for use. The way these seniors manage the garden is natural to them but holds many lessons for the rest of us.

Regular donations of produce from the College of the Rockies greenhouse are used in daily lunch meals. Fresh beans, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and chard are part of the favourite meals seniors remember.

Harvest Share also brings welcome gifts to us and many boxes of cherries have been pitted and frozen and are waiting to be made into the famous TAPS pies. The cherries that didn’t make it to the freezer were devoured by folks with red fingers and drops of cherry juice on their chins. With other fruit ripening soon we are preparing seniors and volunteers for pie making days. An assembly line of dough mixers, filling makers, rollers, crimpers, baggers and labellers will work for many, many days in the next two months. The pies will be enjoyed at TAPS and sold to bring income to our program.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the pool staff at the Creston and District Community Complex for all the special care and attention they give to our swimmers. We always feel welcome and safe. The games we play and the fun we have in the water are things we have not done for many, many years. Thank you for your support.

Please stop to visit with us at our table at the Creston and District Community Complex at the Focus on Recreation on Sept. 7. Our Krafty Kronys will probably have some special deals for us.

We are fortunate to be part of a community that looks after its senior members. Thank you for all of your support.

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