The Village Glen is a retirement village located at Capel Sound on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and boasts over 800 residents.
Thanks to their management team they have been able to establish a 300 plot vegetable garden and currently have over 100 volunteer gardeners ranging in age from 60 to 90+.
The garden is supplied by bore water from a healthy aquafer, has two sheds full of donated tools, three greenhouses, compost bins, regular working bees, monthly meetings, a community area and, most importantly, a wonderful community spirit. They even have their own website: www.ourveggiepatch.com
The benefits of having a vegetable garden in a retirement village are numerous. It provides a sense of purpose and the residents enjoy organically grown seasonal produce. They exercise, experience social interaction and have a healthy hobby.
They are also continually learning from experience, other gardeners and guest speakers at the monthly meetings. These volunteer gardeners often talk about the sense of peace and satisfaction they experience while working in the garden.
Most plants that are grown are successful if the plot owners work the sandy soil and keep the water at an optimum level – not too much or too little. Last Summer, they produce watermelons and pumpkins so big they had to be taken home in wheelbarrows! The biggest tomato was a Mortgage Buster at 750gms.
Many of the vegetables and herbs planted are taken from Maggie’s new cookbook, Maggie’s Recipe for Life, as they provide the nutrients needed for optimum brain health, and assist with the prevention of other lifestyle diseases.
Special thank you to Barbara Collins who contacted the Maggie Beer Foundation to share their fantastic success story.