Bornstein On Plants, Prisoners and the Fruit That Keeps You Regular

Categories: Interview
No, plant tickling is not part of Robert Bornstein's horticultural therapy, either.
Check out yesterday's blog for the first part of our interview with horticultural therapist Robert Bornstein.

New Times: What other topics do you cover?

Robert Bornstein: Today I did a class on old fashioned home remedies.

Was it for seniors?


Can you tell me a tip you shared?

Mangos and starfruit have great fiber. It keeps you regular.

Any other topics you cover?

Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is so amazing because the nose-mind connection is so strong. I like working with herbs because you can eat them with your food.

And you mentioned something about honey?

A lot of people don't know it's a wound healer, cuts, deep surgical wounds. It's a bactericide.

Good to know. Have any good plant therapy jokes?

Ha! I'm writing a book. I have so many different funny stories over the years.

When do you think it will be done?

When I stop doing these Examiner articles.

What other benefits are there using horticultural therapy for seniors?

Socialization. They get to meet the other residents in the community on a different level and find a common interest. It gives you a sense of purpose when you're growing a plant. Nurturing something. As you age, you're nurturing less and less and you're less independent. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning: I got to water a plant, I got to take care of that and that... It gives a sense of joy again. A lot of people at that age have to give up their cars, give up their apartment. To get something back again from their youth... it's like they get a renewal of life. And, of course, hand-eye coordination, motor skills. If we have a raised bed garden, they're weeding, they're lifting the hoes. I have ladies in their nineties lifting two-gallon water buckets. It's amazing.

How about prisoners?

I haven't done that. But I visited [a prison] in Naples years ago and they're actually growing some of their own food, which is really good.

What are the benefits to them?

Aggression control, being outside in nature, doing something positive with their lives, learning new skills, which they can use later, vocational training. It's really important and should be done more.

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