“ The nature of rain is the same, but it produces flowers in the garden and thorns in the marsh.”
-Anthony de Mello
Our staff constructed the BRC vegetable gardens 3 years ago, and it’s becoming increasingly more bountiful every year! We are 100% organic, operate year around, and harvest a variety of herbs and vegetables. Our Men and Women’s alcohol and drug rehab program at BRC Recovery, both have sustainable gardens that our residents have the opportunity of being a part of and improving daily.
Gardening for Spiritual Growth
Our residents learn life skills and become unified through working together to care for the plants. This also builds upon and strengthens our community-based program as they run the garden from seed to plate. We also utilize our plots to give our residents an opportunity to be of service to the less fortunate. By eating only what we need and donating half of our yield to various homeless shelters, we practice and experience a key principle in recovery, helping others. Residents spend time with a staff member with years of gardening experience, who teaches them how to care for the plants, and how to ward off pesky insects that have an affinity for organic environments.
During the summer months we harvest:
• bell peppers
In the winter seasons we grow:
Residents also use the garden as a spiritual outlet. The calming and relaxing effect it has is beneficial for those in early recovery, as well as a peaceful and positive setting for meditation. It’s easy to sense the presence of a higher power while witnessing the miracle of a seed sprout and burst into life. As the garden flourishes alongside our residents, it becomes a beautiful metaphor for the growth, change, and re-creation of their lives!
By Ty Labeene, Recovery Coach at BRC Recovery
Additional resources for therapeutic gardening:
• Relf, D. & Dorn, S. (1994)• Relf, D. & Dorn, S. (1994). Horticulture: Meeting the Needs of Special Populations [Paper]
Retrieved from: http://www.hort.vt.edu/HUMAN/HortTher1l.html
An excellent overview of the multiple applications of therapeutic gardening including alcohol and drug rehab.
• de la Motte, P.(2009). Horticultural Therapy in a Residential Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Australia [Paper] Retrieved from: http://www.actahort.org/books/832/832_10.htm
• Byrd, S.(2014).A Look at Horticulture’s Role in a Recovery Paradigm [Blog post] Retrieved from: http://peopleplantcouncil.org/2014/02/a-look-at-horticultures-role-in-a-recovery-paradigm/
• American Horticultural Therapy Association: http://ahta.org/