by Amanda Loviza
HARRIS, N.Y. – The staff at one Center for Discovery house is hoping that their excitement over their garden will catch on with other TCFD houses and the community at large.
TCFD staff member Kebba Darboe started a raised bed vegetable garden for the residents at Sunset House with just two boxes. This year they’ve already expanded the garden to five raised beds, and he hopes it will continue to grow. Sunset House houses about a dozen men, who are mostly wheelchair-bound but love to get outside and water the garden and monitor the plants’ progress.
Gardening is good for anyone, said Mr. Darboe, who comes from a farming family.
“We are so happy about our garden,” Mr. Darboe said. “This is something we enjoy doing. We use it as an activity for our guys.”
The Center for Discovery already grows fresh vegetables for residents at its Thanksgiving Farm, but the hands-on approach is more interesting for residents, Mr. Darboe said. And house chef Shay Moloney loves being able to walk outside and grab fresh basil or mint for a meal. Her kitchen scraps are creating a very effective compost.
Ms. Moloney found some old potatoes in the pantry, and they planted them in the garden as an experiment; the potatoes are now overwhelming their boxes. It’s all been one big experiment, Mr. Darboe said, and they look forward to improving it each year. It gets the residents outside, and produces quality food. He hopes that others, at The Center and beyond, will be inspired by their garden and create their own.