The idea started last year but Marie Phelan and her neighbours at Habitation Coop Nord Ouest in Dollard-des-Ormeaux put it into action this summer and the results are impressive.

Phelan and some neighbours at the seniors’ coop — Carmen Jalbert, Raymond Jalbert, Pierre Bibeau and Louise Bibeau — have created a lovely community garden where all of the grown produce is for the 47 residents of the coop to enjoy.

“We have planted fresh herbs and spices as well as tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, green beans and cucumbers,” Phelan told The Suburban.

But besides creating the many raised wooden boxes to house the growing produce, Phelan and her neighbours also set up “benches, an umbrella and even a swing so that people can get out of their apartments and enjoy the outdoors.

“It is a lot nicer than just staying in your place and staring at four walls,” Phelan said.

The new garden has become meeting place of sorts for the neighbours to sit outside, enjoy the summer and then bring some of the fresh food up to their homes for a lovely fresh meal.

Phelan noted that many of the seniors are over 70 years of age and with living on fixed incomes, the free fresh food also gives their pocket books a bit of a reprieve.

Besides the desire for fresh food in the summer and breaking senior’s isolation, Phelan said that another impetus for creating the garden was “to show that even though we’re getting older, there is still a lot of things we can do and we are hoping to encourage other seniors’ residences and coop to consider growing their own garden.”

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