MINETTO, NY -Â When Christine Minor was named program manager for Oswego County Opportunitiesâ€™ Independent Residential Alternatives program in Minetto she envisioned an addition to the spacious grounds of the IRA house.
Something that the residents would enjoy and benefit from as well.
â€œWhen I saw the large yard, I dreamed of someday planting a vegetable garden where the residents would be able to learn to be more self-sufficient and better understand the process that happens for vegetables to get from seed to table,â€ said Minor. â€œWhen I proposed the idea to the residents they were eager to get started and learn about gardening.â€
According to Minor, some divine intervention from Pastor Forbes of the Minetto Methodist Church helped the dream become a reality.
â€œWhen Pastor Forbes expressed a desire to assist the residents of the house my mind went back to the dream of a vegetable garden. He asked me for a wish list and told me to think big. Thanks to the help of Pastor Forbes and the congregation at the Minetto Methodist Church, that dream came to fruition in the backyard of the Minetto IRA! The members removed the brambles, tilled the area, supplied the plants, planted them and gave the residents the supplies to maintain it. They have even promised to return in the fall and prepare the area for the spring,â€ said Minor.
As the residents cared for it, the garden prospered and they learned how to reap the benefits of their hard work and how to cook and prepare their homegrown vegetables.
â€œOur residents have filled the wheelbarrow the congregation provided for them several times and looking forward to harvesting more before the growing season ends. The residents and I are grateful to Pastor Forbes and the congregation of the Minetto Methodist Church for helping to make our dream come true,â€ added Minor.
OCOâ€™s Independent Residential Alternatives program is specifically designed and operated to assist people with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible through the provision of training and assistance with the skills of daily living.
Consumers participate with the household responsibilities, grocery shopping and cooking.
Each resident works on individualized goals to improve daily living skills increasing their independence.
Staff supervision is provided at the residence continuously when consumers are home.