Gardening and Nature at Pleasant View Communities
For over 66 years, gardening has been at the heart of Pleasant View Communities. When the doors of the Pleasant View Rest Home opened in 1955, the Hoffer Farm, located across North Penryn Road, was responsible for provisioning the home with all items needed to provide care to the residents. From milk and vegetables to blankets, almost all necessities were met by the operations of the farm.
Now, many decades later, gardening continues to play a pivotal role in the lives of the residents who call Pleasant View home. Community gardening plots are shared and tended to by members of the Gardening Club. A greenhouse was recently added to an activity lounge so residents can garden rain or shine. Residents enjoy landscaping their own cottages and balconies and most recently, hydroponics was installed for learning, engagement and opportunities for farm-to-table.
Resident John Landis, who moved to Pleasant View two years ago with his wife, Eileen, was just a young boy in the fields of the Hoffer Farm when the thoughts of a care facility were in their infancy stages. His mother’s cousin, Grace Barto, was a founding mother of the original rest home. The Landis family recalled many memories of growing up in their family gardens. John says, “My early schooling was in the garden with Mom. There wasn’t much she didn’t plant and had reasons for why she planted things where she did.”
John’s family farm was on nearby Graystone Road where he, as a young boy with his father, would operate a one-horse cultivator shovel harrow from atop a horse named Scott. Eileen’s childhood was similar – spending time in the garden with Mom harvesting peas, lima beans and corn. The life lesson Eileen learned as a young girl was recognizing the hope that gardening promotes. If a crop failed one year, there was always next year. She finds so much joy and satisfaction in what such a small seed can yield.
Having been farmers, it was only fitting that the opportunity to continue that craft was an important amenity they hoped for in a retirement community. John and Eileen joined the Gardening Club as soon as they moved in and found that it helped them meet new people and make friends who shared similar interests. Today, the Gardening Club is growing strong and abundant with a beautiful display of expert gardening. Reflecting on how gardening has impacted their life, John and Eileen share, “We believe it is healthy to garden –
something about the earth, the soil, watching it grow, battling bugs – it is a wholesome connection to living.”
As Pleasant View Communities continues to find ways to redefine the retirement-living experience, the reimagination of the Hoffer Farm will not only serve as an integral part of the greater Manheim community, but also offer many new and exciting opportunities for residents who enjoy gardening and harvesting. Orchards cultivated with apple trees and sunflowers, hydroponic greenhouses and native-plant gardens will be a part of the 50+ acre redevelopment. A significant share of the crops raised in the gardens and fields will be donated to organizations that are working to eradicate food insecurities in the area. Another portion of the crops will be available to the public at an on-site produce market. Vegetables and herbs will be utilized for farm-to-table dining at Pleasant View’s Hearth and Harrow restaurant on campus. The orchards and native-plant gardens will also serve as habitat for wildlife for the community to enjoy.
Given the rich history of gardening and a connection to the natural world, Pleasant View Communities is a great fit for anyone who is looking forward to a retirement-living setting where they desire to experience nature in its beauty, enjoy a community of friends and a place where there is plenty of soil to plant!
Type of Community
Life Plan/Continuing Care Community
Range of Services
Pleasant View provides a wide range of services, including Independent Living, Personal Care, Memory Support, Skilled Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Services.
There are many options to choose from at Pleasant View, including 52 cottages and 100 apartments on our Manheim campus, as well as our new expansion, West Lawn, which will provide hybrid apartments. Our satellite campus in Lititz offers the newest trend in senior living: urban living at the Lofts of Lititz Springs.
Welcome to Heath and Harrow, a restaurant, bistro, coffee bar and outdoor patio where friends can relax and families can gather. At the center of the restaurant area, you’ll find a hearth oven. Our name highlights that signature feature and connects back to Pleasant View’s heritage of the family farm. Our goal is to partner with local Lancaster County food vendors to bring the farm-to-table movement to our community.
PVFiT is available to anyone over the age of 40. Amenities include a state-of-the-art gym, fitness room for group classes, personal trainers, saltwater pool, jacuzzi and sauna. Play golf all year round with our Full Swing Golf Simulator!
544 North Penryn Road, Manheim, PA 17545
717-665-2445 • Info@pvcommunities.org