By Starr Techner and Harry Glazer
Parker aims to create an environment for the elders in our care that is vibrant, creative, and enriching. One staff member who is very adept at fostering such a dynamic spirit is Starr Techner, Health & Wellness Manager at Parker at Monroe (PAM). Starr also serves as a volunteer gardener-in-chief in the home and she involves many PAM elders and staff in planting, cultivating, and harvesting flowers and vegetables that can be used around the homes.
In September Starr worked with Ray, a resident and master gardener in the Cedars neighborhood at PAM, to plant spinach seeds for a late fall crop in a courtyard garden by the home. Ray watered them regularly and the seeds took root, growing over the next few weeks. The warm weather New Jersey enjoyed in late October and early November favored the spinach plants and Ray celebrated a bumper crop. He took great joy in his work and harvested enough spinach to share with his entire neighborhood.
With the help of the dining and recreation staff of the Cedars, a tasty spinach salad was added to the dinner menu one night in November and all of Ray’s neighbors got to appreciate the joys of gardening. We thank Starr for helping to make this proud moment possible, one of healthy food and a healthy sense of accomplishment.
Photo: Starr, standing, and Ray with some of the spinach crop.