Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, aged care residents in their garden. Photos: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, aged care residents in their garden. Photos: Ali Kuchel

TOP TIPS: Green thumbs dig up gardening secrets

A GROUP of aged care residents are putting food on the table for those in need, grown fresh from their living facility.

Residents at Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, are often found in their garden, attending to an array of fruit and vegetable plants, which are harvested for local churches.

The program usually ties in with students from Laidley State High School, but this year, because of coronavirus, it was up to the residents to plant, grow, maintain and harvest the crops.

Diversions therapist co-ordinator Therese Crust said the vegetable garden matched many residents’ farming cultures.

“It’s their farming culture here, farming and growing vegetables,” she said.

“And they all have some lovely tops for us.”

The gardening project was recently named a finalist at the Future of ageing Awards, in the Community Engagement section.

The Gatton Star spoke with the residents to find out what they liked about their gardens.

RON WEIER

Carinity Karinya Place resident Ron Weier. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place resident Ron Weier. Photo: Ali Kuchel

For Ron, 92, getting out in the Karinya garden is about the atmosphere and the open spaces.

Growing up in Laidley, he used to grow everything in the vegetable garden.

“I had a bit of everything. There wasn’t a favourite, really,” he said.

Ron’s gardening tip: The soil must be fit for growing vegetables.

COLIN HUGHES

Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Colin Hughes. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Colin Hughes. Photo: Ali Kuchel

Colin, previously from Ipswich, used to grow poppies and ornaments at his home.

Today, he’s the shovel master at the garden.

“It’s lovely to walk around, and the scenery. It’s nice to look at the plants,” he said.

MAUREEN SCHULZ

Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Maureen Schulz. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Maureen Schulz. Photo: Ali Kuchel

A former farmer from Gatton, Maureen mainly grew up producing cotton.

But in her house yard, she also grew vegetables and flowers.

“I like planting things in the garden, nothing in particular,” she said.

TRISH CAMPAGNGA

Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Trish Campanga. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Trish Campanga. Photo: Ali Kuchel

Any garden is good for Trish.

The former Victorian said the gardening was “marvellous” because it gave back to the community.

“Because the vegetables are being used and donated, it’s really good,” she said.

Trish is partial to growing beetroot, because of the way the leaves stand.

“Even in Melbourne, they would plant beetroot in between the roses because they had nice leaves,” she said.

Trish’s gardening tip: Always have clean hands

JEAN BAINES

Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Jean Baines. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Jean Baines. Photo: Ali Kuchel

Jean’s love for gardening stems from her love of outdoors.

“I had a big garden at home, it’s why I’m so brown,” she said.

The dairy farmer said she would milk cows and grow onions, but also had flowers.

Jean has since transitioned to vegetables since settling in at Carinity Karinya.

Jean’s gardening tip: plenty of attention and water

EDNA BROWN

Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Edna Brown. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Carinity Karinya Place, Laidley, resident Edna Brown. Photo: Ali Kuchel

From a shearing family in Goondiwindi, Edna is no stranger to hard work.

“I like everything about gardening, I used to have a little garden out in the bush,” she said.

She reminisced about a lagoon at her property.

“It was lovely when there was water in there, and one morning, there were two swans,” she said.

Edna’s gardening tip: The first thing you’ve got to start off with is the soil. In the bush, we had plenty of rich soil with all the manure, and you’ve got to get that in it. It makes things grow.


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