Mountain Home VA Healthcare System
CLC celebrates Day on the Farm
In honor of National Nutrition Month, the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center’s Community Living Center recently celebrated “A Day on the Farm: A Walk Down Memory Lane” for its residents.
The full day of events, complete with farmhouse decorations and demonstrations, proved to be enjoyable for staff and Veterans alike, according to event organizer and Registered Dietitian Donna Emmert.
“Considering the age of most of the Veterans at the CLC, I thought an old-fashioned day would bring back pleasant memories,” Emmert said. “We were able to bring in and display items from the past that some of the Veterans and family members had used, and the activities were ones I thought would be interesting and reminiscent of days gone by.”
The schedule included Box Gardening – grow your own fruits and vegetables; Butter Making – are there benefits to eating butter?; a Farm House lunch complete with pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread with homemade butter, to demonstrate the benefits of eating a meatless meal; Ice Cream making – is fresh really best? Comparing and contrasting regular homemade ice cream to homemade sugar-free ice cream; and an afternoon treat of peach cobbler and ice cream while listening to live music from the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Band.
“In the past there have been themes to work around for National Nutrition Month,” Emmert said. “However, this year the National theme for the VA was “Own It: Make Nutrition Work for You!”. This pretty much opened the door for a variety of options, so I decided to take an unconventional approach of blending education, fun and multidisciplinary involvement, which I thought the Veterans would enjoy.”
Social workers, nursing staff, recreation therapy, restorative physical therapy, medical providers, volunteers, dietitians, and nutrition and food service staff all pitched in to help make the day a success.
“A lot of questions were asked, and everyone was very interactive during each session,” Emmert said. “Veterans are looking forward to using techniques learned in the gardening session when planting begins at the CLC garden area. Several Veterans talked about some of the cooking tools they remembered using in the past, and one Veteran even remarked that when she was younger, she had made butter the way we were demonstrating, by shaking heavy cream in a jar. Everyone enjoyed the homestyle meal of beans and cornbread and realized the ease and cost savings of a plant-based meal. Other Veterans and family members commented about making ice cream on hot summer days and vowed to purchase an ice cream maker and try the recipes that were provided.”