This spring, the Londonderry Community Garden gained a new caretaker, Mr. Bill Lawton. During a resident meeting, Susan Andrews, wife of the late Chuck Andrews, the garden’s creator, officially “passed the trowel” on to Lawton.
In 2016, Andrews created and tended Londonderry’s Community Garden. The garden flourished to the delight of fellow residents and has become a fixture on the Londonderry campus. It is not uncommon to spot someone stopping by to snack on a few cherry tomatoes or pick a few things to add to their home-cooked meals.
“I love working in the garden,” said Lawton.“One of my favorite things about the garden is growing fresh vegetables and seasonings for my neighbors. I find great joy in knowing those tomatoes are being put to good use!”
Residents aren’t the only ones who look forward to ripening tomatoes and maturing herbs every summer. Chelsea Coombs, Londonderry’s Head Chef and Director of Dining Services, can’t wait to incorporate fresh veggies and herbs into her menus.
“My team and I are so happy that Bill has carried on the garden,” said Coombs. “I am passionate about preparing the freshest food possible for our residents, and it doesn’t get any fresher than right from our own garden.”
Lawton has planted herbs such as basil, thyme, Italian and curly parsley, rosemary, and sage. He has also planted a variety of tomatoes, including small, yellow tomatoes called sun golds.
The herbs are used every day in the Londonderry kitchen, in garnishes, marinades, roasted potatoes, and sauteed vegetables and more.
Coombs uses basil to make homemade pesto, parsley for homemade chimichurri, and sun gold tomatoes go in the house salads. The tomatoes also accompany various dinner specials like grilled mahi mahi with fresh salsa, Caprese salads, and more.
Another recipe that benefits from the Community Garden is Londonderry’s famous spice rub, which includes parsley and thyme. The herbs are harvested and then dried and mixed with other special ingredients to complete the blend. The rub is used regularly in the Londonderry kitchen, and is also given to residents and visitors. Recipes that use the rub are posted on Londonderry’s website so the community can create meals served in their Tred Avon Tavern in their own kitchens.
“Samples of the spice rub are given to visitors to offer them a taste of what life is like at Londonderry,” says Sales and Marketing Director, Rachel Smith. “It’s one small way we introduce the Londonderry lifestyle to future residents. Everyone loves hearing the story behind the rub and how we source ingredients straight from our own garden.”
About Londonderry on the Tred Avon
Londonderry on the Tred Avon is a vibrant, independent living cooperative community for adults ages 62+ that promotes wellness of mind and body. Londonderry offers a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.