University of New Hampshire Supports Local Nursing Home Growing Project

In *All, Youth, Family, & Communities by Ag is America

Near the University of New Hampshire, the Hillsborough County Nursing Home hosts a horticulture therapy program called “Elders on the Grow.” Every Thursday afternoon, members of the nursing home are joined by a Master Gardener to tend and care for  different types of flowers and herbs. The diligent care these plants often require is a therapeutic exercise for the residents that they look forward to every week.

The program has become a volunteer project for many in the community featured by the University of New Hampshire Extension Service. The program started a grow cart with plants was donated to residents. This cart was only the beginning as the resident’s enthusiasm to grow more herbs, vegetables and flowers was evident.

This has been a fun project for the community, often bringing in visitors to see what fresh herbs and flowers the residents are working with. The residents love it too, giving them a sense of reward and self-fulfillment and gave her a sense of worth.

“It feels like we’re taking care of little babies when the plants are this small,” one resident said about planting tiny seedlings. As a mother and former nurse, these moments are a new way for her to apply her nurturing skills.

The program hopes to include more friends and families in order to extend the projects to the rest of the nursing home, establish an outdoor garden, and maybe even get to do work at a greenhouse.

For more information this program and the University of New Hampshire Extension, read more here.

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