REDDING, Conn. — Some of the vegetables on the menu at Redding’s Meadow Ridge retirement community don’t have to travel far from farm to table.
Thanks to a garden started by Peter Hastings, who lives at Meadow Ridge, some the food prepared in the community’s kitchen comes from the fields outside. Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, and squash have all been grown on Meadow Ridge’s sprawling campus.
Hastings sends Meadow Ridge’s Director of Culinary Services Brian Limitone a text message each day, letting him know that a box of vegetables from the garden is waiting by the kitchen. Limitone and his team then separate, clean and cook the ingredients.
The chefs at Meadow Ridge have created menu items, including mixed greens, grilled vegetables and a light tomato-cucumber salad with the garden's bounty.
Meadow Ridge Executive Director Michelle Bettigole said the garden fits in with the community’s initiative to use ingredients grown close to home.
“Our kitchen does an incredible job of trying to use local ingredients in the meals they prepare, and what’s more local than produce grown right here at Meadow Ridge?” Bettigole said. “I know it’s rewarding for Peter [Hastings] and the other volunteers to see so many of their friends and neighbors enjoying the fruits of their labor.”
Hastings has a long history of gardening. When he was a child, his father helped transform a vacant lot across from his house into a victory garden with a neighbor's mule, a plow and some manual labor.
Meadow Ridge is in Redding near Georgetown and the border with Ridgefield, Weston and Wilton.