June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month, and Men's Health Month
My Grandfather was a terrific gardener who taught me some tricks of the trade. A regular part of my upbringing was spent in the garden with Papa Bob.
As a young person I would see the enjoyment in his face while tending his garden, and then later we'd gather at the dinner table where fresh sliced tomatoes, onions and a variety of other veggies from his garden, and fresh fruits from the local orchard would all be on a serving plate for the family to enjoy. He loved to eat sliced onions and tomatoes with just a touch of salt and pepper and nothing else. Papa Bob modeled for me, not only the benefits of spending time in the garden, but also how eating fresh vegetables and fruits is a satisfying and good thing to do. I think of him often when I am eating my sliced veggies and fresh fruits with my family, and of course when I am in my own garden.
Research strongly suggests a brain healthy diet should include foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, gardening and gathering fresh fruits and vegetables is a meaningful activity that residents and staff can enjoy together. With a little creativity, and including the residents and staff in the process, this can be easy and fun to do. Another enjoyable way to get fresh fruits and vegetables is to take a trip to the local farmers market or an orchard farm together.
From selecting and purchasing and planting seeds, to watering, picking and washing; and then preparing and enjoying the fresh fruits and vegetables, many memories may be stimulated and the stories of gardening can be shared together.
Visit the Oregon Farmers Market Association to learn about local markets.