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South Plainfield Senior Center Grows Garden for Healthy Eating

Tree Olano, South Plainfield Leader/Director

Saturday, July 12, 2014 • 3:00am

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - As a member of the Mayors Wellness Committee, I had had an idea to incorporate Mayor Anesh’s Wellness initiatives with healthy eating for our seniors.  The idea quickly grew into action in the form of a vegetable and herb garden outside the Senior Center Building.  The first item on the agenda was to contact the Master Gardeners of Rutgers Cooperative Program.   The Master Gardeners Cooperative Program is a group of trained volunteers that I was able to meet and discuss the plan of a senior vegetable garden.  After Rutgers performed soil testing the project was a go!

The seniors have really embraced the idea.  A number of senior volunteers help with gardening duties daily.  The senior volunteers each have a special talent and they love to help in their own way.  In the beginning a few of the seniors dug out and tilled the 30'x5' area.  DPW Head Robert Capparelli helped install the fencing around the garden and DPW helped the delivery of plants and potting soil.  The South Plainfield High School National Honor Society's president and advisor were able to get volunteer assistance in vegetable and herb garden installation on April 26, 2014.

The garden consists of Cherry tomatoes - both red and gold, zucchini, cucumbers, hot peppers, bell peppers, and roma tomatoes.   The herbs are planted in pots and are placed around the back of the building - basil, thyme, rosemary, sage and mint have grown abundantly.

Mr. Adolph Horbotowicz a senior volunteer who heads up the garden has been watering and weeding and picking vegetables daily for all the seniors to share.   The vegetables and herbs are picked and brought to the kitchen area to be washed and shared with the seniors.

The senior center is enjoying the fruits or should I say vegetables of their labor.  The seniors are now eating their own veggies from heaven.  I’d like to thank all of those that were involved in creating the senior vegetable garden.

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