Senior at Heritage Village grows plants hydroponically

GERRY – The stories of rebirth and renewal are all around. Earth Day has just passed and a special resident at Heritage Ministries had been preparing for this holiday since winter.

Arthur “Art” Martinson, of Schwab Manor on the Heritage Village Retirement Campus located in Gerry, has been hard at work this winter preparing for a fruitful growing season. Martinson purchased a greenhouse to extend the limited growing season in Western New York. The Heritage staff helped to erect the greenhouse, under Martinson’s direction.

Art has been growing his plants hydroponically in his apartment since the end of winter. He is growing tomatoes and lettuce, and he looks forward to trying to grow some strawberries too. His lettuce plants are already big enough to eat!

Martinson explained growing plants hydroponically has many benefits, including water conservation (all of the water used, goes directly into the plants), less mess (no dirt is needed in the growing process), and the plants can grow at any height (this reduces the amount of bending over required – not a small detail when you have limited mobility).

Years ago, Martinson traveled to Walt Disney World, and he was fascinated by the hydroponic garden in the Future World exhibit in Epcot. He said his son recently got started with hydroponic gardening, and he decided it was time that he did it too. It is their “science project,” and they will learn as they go.

Martinson said anyone who is interested in learning more about hydroponic gardening should visit YouTube, where there are many videos outlining the entire process.

Recently, the plants were just about ready to get transferred from Martinson’s apartment to the greenhouse. Next month, he will look forward to seeing the fruits (or veggies) of his labor! Until then, he will enjoy the spring and the Earth.

Heritage Ministries is a non-profit, human-service organization serving the western New York region. Independent- and assisted-living residences for seniors are located at Heritage Village Retirement Campus in Gerry and at The Woodlands on Southwestern Drive in West Ellicott. Rehabilitation and skilled-nursing services are provided at Heritage Village in Gerry, Heritage Park in Jamestown and Heritage Green in Greenhurst. For more information, call Heritage at (716)487-6800, visit them at www.heritage1886.org or like them at www.facebook.com/HeritageMinistries.