Lifeview’s ‘Planting with a Purpose’ program has been named a National Finalist for the ‘Enhancing Consumer Experience’ category in the 2022 InnovAGEING Awards.
Planting with a Purpose is a collaboration between the Lifeview residents, chefs and gardeners, to cultivate and grow fresh produce for the Lifeview kitchens.
Led by Stephen Milsted, Executive Manager Hospitality Services and Head Gardener, Daniel de Sachau, the program is making a difference on so many fronts including resident satisfaction, interaction and participation. Residents are involved in everything from germinating seedlings, to planting, tending and harvesting the produce.
Each quarter, the chefs consult with residents to plan the season’s upcoming menus, then advise the gardening team of the fresh produce they will be requiring based on what the residents like to eat. The gardeners then work with the residents to cultivate and grow as much produce as they can. Not every home is growing the same produce, one home may be growing lettuce and cherry tomatoes, whilst another is growing corn and apples.
Lifeview has invested in raised mobile Vegepods to ensure additional growing space and year-round access. The pods come with a cover, helping to extend the growing season and accelerate plant growth.
Underutilised spaces at each property have also been transformed into mini-market gardens, flourishing in vegetables including corn, zucchini, radishes and assorted lettuce varieties.
To ensure residents know when their produce is used, a small icon is added to the display menu on the day. Residents are even harvesting enough produce to regularly feed an entire home a lunchtime salad or a side dish at dinner.
At the end of each harvest, the quality and quantity of produce is reviewed, to determine if there is room for improvement.
Following the initial success of the program, ‘Planting with a Purpose’ activities have expanded to include worm farms to utilise kitchen scraps, keeping them out of the landfill and turning would-be waste into a sustainable environmentally friendly fertilizer.
There’s a sense of being able to contribute to the community with something tangible as well as the satisfaction and accomplishment the gardens bring, from planting seeds to harvesting and eating homegrown produce.
innovAGEING winners will be announced at a virtual presentation on 24 November 2022.