Recently, Salter HealthCare supported their neighbors by aiding in the renovation of the plaza shared by residents of Cusack Terrace, an elderly and disabled housing complex in Arlington, and the Public Safety Building. With monetary, herb and flower donations provided by Salter HealthCare, members of the Cusack Terrace community built a garden that would allow residents to prepare food with fresh herbs and enjoy the space surrounded by fresh flowers.
Planting of the garden began this spring when Jessy McNeil, Salter's Dietician, started a 12-week nutrition lecture series focused on healthy food choices and cooking practices at Independent Living Housing communities in Arlington including Millbrook Square Apartments, and Cusack Terrace. Cindy McGinty, past president of the Cusack Terrace Tenant Association, approached McNeil regarding their interest in the lectures, particularly the one on Medicinal and Culinary uses of Herbs. Through many meetings between Cusack Terrace and the Arlington Housing Authority, Cusack was approved for dedicating an area in their terrace to begin planting herbs. Inspired by the garden at Salter Healthcare's Aberjona Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and encouraged by the Cusack residents including Michael and Cindy McGinty, McNeil was instrumental in obtaining financial support from Salter Healthcare to begin their journey to healthy eating.
The Aberjona Facility located on Swanton Street in Winchester uses their own garden to provide fresh and highly nutritious produce to their patients and residents at mealtimes during the local harvest seasons. With Salters help, Michael and Cynthia McGinty and other tenants at the Cusack Terrace Independent Living housing community grew their garden to gain benefits similar to those enjoyed by Salter's residents.
"We cannot thank Jessy and Salter Healthcare enough for their support in our endeavor to get a little herb garden growing. Many of the annuals (basil, parsley, tarragon) were hung to dry so that our group of herb lovers can enjoy them all winter," noted Michael McGinty, current President of the Cusack Terrace Association.
Cusack Terrace residents made iced herb infusions during the summer heat and brightened up meals with the herbs harvests, using the healthy eating techniques taught by McNeil. The Cusack Terrace garden not only provides vitamins and antioxidants through the various herbs but also has improved the aesthetic of the plaza, bursting with bright flowers and the spicy, fragrant scent of herbs wafting by the benches and under the pergola. Plants grown include fresh apple mint, lemon balm, parsley, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, basil, oregano, and chives among other perennials and annuals. Next year, the tenants at Cusack Terrace will continue to reap the many health benefits of their established perennial herb garden.
For information regarding nutrition lectures led by Jessy McNeil, MSRD, please call: Deb Donovan, Salter HealthCare's Director of Marketing, at: (781) 994-2122.