Local gardener a prolific producer

“My stinging nettle tea is pretty amazing,” Juliet Porter enthuses. And if it tastes even half as good as her delightful kumquat marmalade, she’s not exaggerating.

Juliet's garden is like a mini-farm, with several vegetable patches – a few under netting to prevent the birds from getting at them, and an assortment of fruit trees.

Juliet who uses her walker to navigate around the vast backyard, points to a container with a lid near one of the veggie beds. “Look, this is where I store my witches brew,” she laughs.

Juliet is funny. Ha-ha, not odd. She’s full of humorous one-liners and jokes and her face is etched with mischief. She laughs loudly and freely.

But Juliet takes her food production very seriously. She even plants according to the moon calendar. And whatever her magic touch is, it works. There is always fresh fruit and veg for meals and plenty to be turned into delicious basil and tomato pesto and raspberry and blackberry pies!

Juliet’s only child, Jacqueline, lives with her. Jacqueline does the cooking and Juliet’s sister helps her with shopping. Uniting AgeWell does the rest.

Juliet, who is in pain with severe osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and a dodgy right hip, receives home care services to help her live life as she chooses, in her home. A personal carer comes in three times a week, she has domestic help and of course, help around the garden. She has also bought a number of mobility aides through her home care package – three walkers, an electric bed and an electric armchair.

She is one of the many clients who transitioned from Uniting Vic.Tas to Uniting AgeWell earlier this year, and she particularly delighted that Uniting AgeWell has now opened an office in Wangaratta. “The local office is wonderful.

Juliet’s life is as colourful as her garden. She’s travelled widely, describes herself as a “bit of a nomad,” and has had an enormous number of experiences including scuba diving, mountain climbing and even game hunting. “Let’s just say if there was an opportunity to try different things, I took it,” she explains.

Like what? Her eyes sparkle with mischief. “Enough said! Let’s just say I’ve really enjoyed my life.”

But it is when she talks about her beloved daughter, that the twice-divorced Juliet gets sentimental. “I had endometriosis, and I was 39 when she was born. I didn’t think I could ever have a child. She is my world.”

The former bank worker, who has had a number of different jobs over the years, still has a razor-sharp mind. She loves reading the Guardian newspaper and is fascinated by politics.

Learn more about Uniting Agewell Home Care Hume