In the lush and earthy corners of UHN, we find some spectacular gardens.
Let’s start in the west with GROW at Bickle Centre, aka, Garden Rehab on Wheels, or Garden of Eatin’. Thanks so much to Amanda Beales for leading this team through it’s 3rd fantastic season. Each year, it expands and improves.
Staff Salad Potluck 2018
This season, the team built a second in-ground patch for plants too big for the boxes. They grew a watermelon … a huge hit with the patient garden group … and are growing some pumpkins (carving contest tba)! A patient’s family member walked by all the burgeoning veggies the other day and commented “this is better than Longos”.
Patients at Bickle Centre tend to the garden as part of their therapy. According to one patient, “I love being part of the garden group. I get to get outside, see plants, and taste some fresh vegetables…. What more could I want?”. Another noted honestly that “It helps fight the boredom” (I hear you). One +80 year old patient remarked with deep surprise:
“I never knew that’s how that grew!”.
This year, the GROW team decided to get creative and tried growing a cucamelon. No, I’ve never heard of that either, but apparently it’s the size of a grape, looks like a watermelon, and tastes like a cucumber!!
We’ll travel east to get the The UHN Real Food Garden, right near Toronto Western Hospital. Here, Sophia, Jim, Geremy, Rachel and Elise have been sowing and growing as a mini but mighty team. Jim reported that after he cut through the jungle of weeds, “there are some nice tomatoes and basil plants under there … for a nice sandwich on Portuguese buns for one of the Dundas St. bakeries.”
Now we’ll travel northeast to get to Lyndhurst, where they have had a raised-bed garden for many years. Their focus in more on flowers and herbs over food, but these gorgeous marigolds look good enough to eat! Note the special long-handled tools perfect for using from a wheelchair!
Thanks Nicole Leung, recreation therapist for bringing her patients outside for the best kind of therapy (IMHO) and for sending these beautiful and lucious photos from Lyndhurst…
If this is your jam (or jelly), you may be interested in 2 events by our friends at NOURISH, both on Monday September 10th:
- Connecting Food & Health Care: Lessons From Canada, US & Denmark: 12 – 1:30 pm, LKSKI-SMH, 209 Victoria St. room 211
- Food on the Public Plate: Lessons from Canada, US & Denmark: 4:30-6:30 pm, MaRS 101 College St. room CR2
It’s easy and free registration (and they had me at “light refreshments will be served”).
For more about Gardens at UHN, see