Resident Barbara Horney with Megan Crawford, occupational therapist assistant

On Aug. 30, 2019, residents and associates at Life Care Center of Elizabethton, Tennessee, reaped their harvest of homegrown tomatoes.


Tomatoes grow best in hot, humid environments, which makes for a bountiful harvest during a Tennessee summer.


Residents at the Elizabethton facility waited weeks for the day they could enjoy the crop they tended to.


After picking from the vine and washing the fluorescent fruits, residents and associates battered and fried all of the tomatoes grown from the facility’s garden.


“It gets the residents talking and reminiscing about their past and how they used to garden when they were younger,” said Kaveri Pant, director of rehab services.


The event took place in the facility’s therapy gym. Around 25 residents and 15 associates gathered to help prepare the fried green tomatoes. It is one of the more popular events among the residents because they get to see the project develop from start to finish.


“This is something we look forward to every summer,” said a resident. “It's fun to help cook, eat and enjoy what we grew.”


As long as the summers are hot and humid in Tennessee, the fried green tomato tradition is here to stay.

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