Emu Park local’s delicious good deed
GARDENING is more than just planting a few vegetables for Emu Park retirees Geoff and Jenny Marquardt; it’s about bringing together a community and building long-lasting friendships.
The keen gardeners, who reside at Bolton Clarke’s Sunset Ridge retirement village, started the project with their veggie patch and would like other residents to become involved with their own gardens, to provide fresh produce to be shared among the village.
Jenny said they had originally planted the garden as a project that would get Geoff out and busy.
“Now we have banana trees, cauliflower, beetroot, three types of lettuce, silver beet and sugarloaf cabbages, and Geoff is about to plant potatoes,” she said.
“We have lemons we’ve been giving away and I’ve just shared 1kg of cumquats with my friend. We’re planning to make orange and cumquat jam.”
Sharing community meals is nothing new at Sunset Ridge.
On Mother’s Day, Jenny and fellow resident Shirley Eden cooked 130 pancakes for fellow residents, along with a home-made blueberry syrup.
“We could only deliver six at a time, so our village manager Judy Osborne delivered them in the buggy and played Elvis Presley music full bore – people were coming out and dancing,” she said.
“We ended up making an extra batch for the local ambulance crew.”
Jenny and Geoff lived on a cattle property for 40 years before travelling and finally settling at the retirement village six years ago.
“We’re so glad we came here – we feel so safe and it’s a beautiful community,” Jenny said.
“Geoff walks our dog every day and spends time in the garden, and he’ll pick a big bunch of silver beet and share it with the neighbours or share the bananas around and have a talk.
“Judy has plans to start a herb garden for us too. It would be just lovely to see everyone coming down here, having a little veggie patch.”