Pate’s ranch outside of McKinney has a veggie garden and it’s been producing great organic food for our residents’ meals.
We’re growing cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Brandywine), dragon carrots, squash, Jimmy Nardello peppers and Blacktail Mountain watermelons.
The veggie garden is tended by both patients and staff. Did you know gardening is a wonderful rehab activity? It’s meditative. It helps people reconnect with nature. Even more importantly, gardening works as physical therapy. It’s healthy exercise, motor skills practice, and strengthens sequencing skills and memory. For patients who like to garden, it’s the perfect way to combine rehabilitation and relaxation.
Every activity we offer patients is always designed to play this kind of dual role. When it’s fun, re-learning comes naturally and feels as if there’s no effort at all. In spring we grow flowers, in the fall we plant beautiful winter hardy plants that provide autumnal color and celebrate the season. We garden nearly all year round from February to December and provide gardening opportunities at all our locations. It’s a perennial favorite with patients.
Whether you want to get your hands dirty or not, watching what’s new in the veggie garden is a great spectator sport every morning. Best part of the veggie garden? Eating the things you have grown. It’s food for the body and the heart.