October Kitchen - April 2022

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals APRIL 2022

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042


My Green Thumb Is Rooted in Me How I Picked Up the Hobby of Gardening

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, that means planting season is around the corner. I always loved planting and watching my seeds transform into vegetables. Planting has always kept me grounded and it can be very meditative. My love for planting was rooted in me at a very young age. When I was a little boy, my father used to have a garden on the side of his house. He had his garden going for years, and I can still remember what he planted to this day: tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, zucchini and cucumbers. My dad was very smart with his garden — he kept it simple so he wouldn’t become overwhelmed and stressed. He had a great trick that I thought was amazing! To keep his vegetables irrigated, he would save gallon milk jugs and poke holes in the bottom. Then, he would place these milk jugs at the base of his plants and fill the jugs up with water. This method would slowly drip water down onto the plant and ensure that it was well hydrated. Having a green thumb didn’t begin with my father. My grandfathers on both my parents’ sides also had gardens. I remember going to the mobile home of my grandfather on my dad’s side and seeing so many vegetables and plants. On my mother’s side, my grandfather had a huge garden with all

kinds of vegetables. He would can many of his items and store them in the cellar. I remember going down to the cellar when I was little and seeing all the canned goods. When I became an adult, I picked up the hobby of gardening. My first year was a year of learning, and I learned different methods and techniques to help my garden flourish. I soon expanded my garden and I grew stuff like thyme, squash, asparagus, peppers, cucumbers or anything else I could get my hands on. My favorite thing to plant was tomatoes. I had a source for heirloom tomatoes seeds to grow all different kinds of tomatoes such as yellow, zebra, Russian black, brandy wine, cherry and even white tomatoes. After my



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vehicles during his journey and helped all seven individuals to safety. He would walk the quarter-mile from his house and back to the cars to help these people one by one. Once everyone was at Bouvier Sr. and his wife’s home, he offered them to stay at their house and cooked breakfast for them the following morning. After everyone was fed and the driveway had been plowed, the seven individuals went on their way home. Andre Bouvier Sr. is now known as a hero for his bravery and determination to help these people in a time of need. Thank you, Andre, for your act of heroism. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

but she began to worry after 14 hours went by with no call.

Have you ever had the fear of being stuck on the side of the road during a snowstorm? This exact situation happened to Shannon St. Onge and six other people this past February. Thankfully, they were brought to a nice, warm house of an 80-year-old man named Andre Bouvier Sr. On one chilly day, Onge hoped to finish her errands until she checked the weather forecast. The heavy snow began to fall, and she quickly became lost since she could not see the road or street signs. She stopped on the side of the road and called 911, and the operator suggested that she weather the storm until it passed. Onge was told that a police officer would call her back to check on her,

Would her gas tank last until morning? What if someone crashed into her? What if she didn’t make it home at all? Onge decided to get out of her car to discovered where she was by looking at a road sign. Then she went to Facebook and found a neighborhood group where she posted about being stuck in her car during the storm. This is when 80-year-old Bouvier Sr. saw the post and began putting on his winter clothes to help the woman in need. He couldn’t start his tractor, so he decided to travel the quarter-mile by foot on that cold and snowy night. He discovered three other stranded

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Maybe when I retire, I will pick up gardening again. I loved having fresh produce for myself and my customers. Tending to my own produce made me appreciate our farmers even more because there is so much you have to do to grow food properly. I’m thankful to all the farmers who make sure we are all fed — your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. In a lot of ways, running a business is like having a garden. You will have ups and downs, and sometimes you might run into a problem you must overcome. By tending to my garden for many years and seeing my father and grandfathers tend to theirs, I’ve learned how to be patient, motivated and dedicated. Gardening is a way that I used to relax and decompress, but it also provided me with the tools I needed while running October Kitchen. And for that, I am very grateful.

tomatoes were ripe, I would give them out to my neighbors. It was always fun to see the expression on their faces when I would hand them a variety of tomatoes — they didn’t know most of these variations existed! After my daughter went to college, I stopped gardening. My daughter would help me in the garden when she was younger and it was such a great bonding experience. I eventually became really busy and couldn’t tend and take care of my garden the way I wanted to. I haven’t had a garden in over 10 years, but I still grow some herbs from time to time.

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April marks the month of planting season. As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to bust out your gardening utensils, soils and seeds and start planting! Whether you’re a seasoned pro at gardening or a beginner, here is everything you need to know about taking care of your garden so you can reap the amazing health benefits. Care for Healthy and Growing Plants 1. It’s essential to inspect your plants to ensure they don’t rot or have pests. If you have a plant in your garden that is infected, it could spread to your other plants. It’s also best to check your plants for gnats, aphids and whiteflies because they can also cause harm to your garden. 2. Soil needs to be replaced every so often for your plants to remain healthy. You can add mulch to keep moisture in your garden and reduce the number of weeds you must dispose of. These weeds can suffocate your plant and can also harbor pests. Fertilizer can be applied to keep your plants healthy. Each plant requires different amounts, so be sure to do some research to see how much should be used for each of your plants. 3. Another way to promote plant growth is by performing plant maintenance. For example, you can remove dead flower heads to encourage new growth, cull your plants from unhealthy bits so your plant has more room to grow and cut some of the branches so it can flourish. The Benefits of Having a Garden It’s widely known that having a garden and taking care of plants can promote relaxation, reduce stress and even decrease your chance of dementia by 36%. But there are other great health benefits that can come from growing your own vegetables and herbs. By growing your own food, you’re in control of what kinds of fertilizer and pesticides come in contact with it. You can also plan when to harvest your vegetables. The vegetables that ripen in your garden will be filled with more nutrients than what’s sold in the store since those are picked earlier. There are so many great benefits of having your own garden and these are only a few of many! It’s a surreal experience to see your plants transform from seeds to something you can add to your meals. Happy planting season! IT’S PLANTING SEASON! Your 101 Guide on Gardening

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309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042


A Garden Is a Lot Like a Business


A Snow Storm Won’t Stop Andre



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You’re in Control of Your Vegetables


Your Garden Can Help You Heal!



to improve mental wellness. All it requires is a little dirt, patience and the great outdoors. What is horticulture therapy? As the American Horticultural Therapy Association explains, horticulture therapy can improve cognitive and memory abilities, balance, language skills and endurance. It’s the practice of gardening to stimulate mindfulness. Dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, the Persians were known for creating beautiful, calming gardens for this very purpose and the first documented use of gardening for medical reasons is from the 1800s. Since then, connecting humans to plants is now a common treatment in many countries. What do I have to do? To effectively engage in horticulture therapy, you have to engage with

When you’re in pain, daily activities like walking to the mailbox or reaching for a plate from the cupboard can exacerbate inflamed joints and weak muscles. However, just simply being a human can intensify this pain, too. The reason is in your brain. For years, researchers have connected our mental well-being with our physical health. Study after study shows that those who suffer from mental illnesses also have intense bouts of pain. Physical therapy is a powerful treatment method designed to use your body’s strength and movement to stimulate physical healing. But to holistically recover from an injury or pain, you may have to also address your mental health. This spring, as April showers loom, consider a centuries-old practice that has shown time and time again

nature. Plant a small garden in your yard and tend to it each day or week. Join a community garden, plant an indoor herb garden or pluck weeds from your yard. If you’re not much of a gardener, try visiting local botanical gardens or hike a local trail and identify plant life each week. Or, ask your local nursery for suggestions about plants that are easy to care for. The goal is to physically and mentally connect with nature, which bonds you to a simpler form of life.

To learn more about horticulture therapy, connect with a local psychiatrist or counselor.

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