“Getting dirty is easy – it’s cleaning up that’s hard.” That’s how Randy Wander summarized the burden of a gardener, and he should know – he has been gardening most of his life. Randy has been part of the Living Resources family for more than 40 years maintaining his own apartment with the assistance of our Albany Supportive Living Program, then moving to a group residence in 2017 so he could enjoy the slower pace of his retirement years. Since he was a child, Randy loved spending as much time as possible outdoors so his family sent him to a farming camp and he loved it.
Gardening is now in his blood. He says there are many benefits- he gets to be outside, stay healthy, and help other people, proudly stating, “I grow food for everyone that’s here.” His Living Resources family certainly enjoys the fruits (and veggies) of his labor – eating delicious fresh salads all summer long.
Now in his 70s, kneeling and bending are more difficult for him, so early this spring he ordered 3 elevated garden beds and William Savacool, the husband of Randy’s house staff Judi, assembled them. Randy got busy planting strawberries, lettuce, parsley. His summer crops included zucchini, eggplant, peppers, spring onions, tomatoes, green beans and even a few flowers. According to all sources, the zucchini was his most successful crop this season, abundantly spilling over the raised beds onto the grass. He also had a veritable cornucopia of beans, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Gardening is not as easy as it may seem though. He says one key factor to the success of a garden is “knowing what mother nature will do. May was cold. Too cold to put seeds in the ground. My winter squash didn’t work out well.” Another crop that creates a challenge for him is carrots, explaining, “They look like dandelions and I pull them out because I think they are weeds.”
All in all, Randy’s raised garden beds are his joy. He would agree with English poet Alfred Austin, who acclaimed “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
The mission of the Community Living Program is to provide quality and consistent habilitation services to individuals living in the community in various settings. Such services may include, but are not limited to, assistance with activities of daily life, socialization activities, recreational activities, and general household maintenance. For more information, go to https://www.livingresources.org/community-living-program/
Our residential sites offer a home environment, while also providing group learning experiences and development of skills in daily living. In addition, our residential program assists individuals with accessing community services and recreational activities. For more information about our Residential Programs, go to https://www.livingresources.org/services/residential-services/