PRESTONSBURG – If you think living in a senior living community would be boring with nothing to do, think again. Highland Terrace is an affordable rental housing community for citizens 62 and over. The facility – located behind McDonald’s across from the Historic May House in Prestonsburg – is not a place one would expect to find garden growing.
The garden at Highland Terrace started when a local boy scout troop was trying to earn Eagle Scout status. The troop needed 30 hours of community service hours and worked diligently plowing the ground and planting would become the lush garden it is today.
Students from Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center built the raised garden beds. They also built special raised garden beds for those residents in wheelchairs and cannot get down on the ground to pull weeds. The special beds are high enough residents can sit in their wheelchair and pull weeds and garden.
Four residents – Sharon Bryant, Dee Blair, James Davis and Christine Davis – are regulars to take care of the garden.
“One of the best things about the garden is working with friends and watching something you cared for and nurtured bloom,” said Blair. “It is nice to have the fresh vegetables to eat, and even if a resident is not able to help work in the garden, we never turn them down for the fresh vegetables and herbs.”
This year, residents planted a variety of things such as purple and green cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, peas, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, parsley, dill, sage and other herbs. The Mountain Comprehensive Greenhouse donates the plants and seeds.
“Although we have had to deal with a Japanese Beetle problem, this has been the best year we have had for the garden,” said Bryant. “We sprinkle black pepper on the cabbage to keep the rabbits away from the cabbage. The building complex brought a new tiller to use in the garden. The maintenance man uses it to plow the ground and get it ready for planting.”
The residents say new Housing Manager Lori Rice has gone above and beyond her job duty in helping to get donations for the group to use in the garden. Rice has helped the group partner with the Mountain Comprehensive Care Greenhouse to provide the plants and seeds.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.