There is no better feeling and appreciation than eating freshly grown cherry tomatoes plucked straight from the vegetable garden you have tendered to for many weeks. At Seachange Lifestyle Resorts, residents are encouraged to use their ‘green thumbs’ in the beautifully-established communal vegetable gardens, especially as it’s a therapeutic way to foster well-being and a sustainable lifestyle.
The vegetable garden at Seachange Emerald Lakes was the biggest selling point for resident Les Harry, who has lived there for three years. “Many people downsize from big properties, but they still want the enjoyment of a garden,” said Les. “It’s a great way to meet people because not only are you gardening, but you’re also chatting with each other and forming friendships.”
Aside from the tasty benefits, research highlights that gardening can help one practice acceptance and mindfulness. Gardening is also a fantastic way to reduce stress, improve strength and save money, proving highly beneficial for many Seachange residents. “Every Tuesday between 8am and 9am we have a group of about 16 people who come together to pitch in and maintain the garden. Everyone is looking out for each other, which is what community is all about. “Although, sometimes, it can be a race to get the best produce before anyone else,” said Les, jokingly.
With a little creativity, you can cook a myriad of delicious recipes straight from the garden. “We have residents making kale chips and even using carrot leaves; people really like trying new things,” said Les. There are many health benefits associated with having a veggie garden. However, the most significant benefit for Les Harry is the sense of community and enjoying the company of others that the garden brings.