The biggest success is building a wheelchair accessible bed in addition to the raised bed so clients of all abilities and situations can help cultivate organic produce and access the therapeutic benefits of the garden. This year, we've also engaged with more small organic farms for seedlings and a local organization that focuses on reducing food waste for compost. Our clients are thrilled to have planted the seedlings and have reported pride over the garden. Some have reported mental health benefits such as a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and feelings of isolation.
What challenges did or does your project face?
Constant retention of clients is always difficulty but we have a small, steady group of folks that are consistent members of the garden project.
How are you working to overcome them?
I'm working with other staff to outreach and inform clients so the project continues to grow, as well as noticing barriers, such as transportation, and coordinating ways to engage all interested clients.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Engage with community organizations and be a part of the neighborhood! People are thrilled to help out a great cause, whether through materials or good tips & tricks for gardening. Also, planting and cultivating a garden is an amazing way to instill hope in people, no matter where they're at in life.