No... Not other than my own experience! I have a kind of "Trip To Bountiful" attitude. Gotta get my hands in the dirt occasionally or I'll go crazy!! (The Trip To Bountiful is a wonderful movie, by the way, a must see if you haven't.)
ALSO.. 'theraputic gardening/farming/ etc." GREAT IDEA.. there is a theraputic equine ranch not far from me. They use the horses to help disabled, mentally retarded, etc.
Where did you hear of/think of it? Sounds like a really good way to help others, become nonprofit AND hey..... I saw a show on HGTV, I think about a month ago. A place in California... Wait.. it was WISDOM tv. Have you done a 'search' on internet yet? Sorry, I can't remember the name of it.
I'm not sure exactly what theraputic gardening/farming is, but I do know that I'm rarely happier and more at peace than when I'm out in my garden. Whether I'm weeding, watering or picking; I have a genuine sense of well being that doesn't make an appearance very often these days.
In older times, when patients for various reasons were hospitalized, if they were ambulatory, could bend, and had any strength would be "helped" by gardening and farming. Some institutionalized persons paid or were forced to pay room and board by raising their own food. Farming was studied as a treatment for mental illness and I believe it is a theraputic answer for some.
Therapy gardens are being grown in NY and other cities and hospitals.
A man up the road from us has had some developmentally disabled folk boarding with him for most of their lives. They choose to go out and work with the cows or heavy farm work. There have even been complaints by neighbors, as these folks are wards of the state. The investigations have acknowledged the work that was done, but also acknowledged that it was these persons' choice to go and do it. I know them and talk to them. They love the cows and the work and are proud of what they have accomplished!
I asked because I have been investigating Ther. Hort/Farming for a bout a year now. Believe it or not there is a group called American Therapeutic Horticulture Society. I joined recently and will be writing an article for their annual issue. Nomad put it beautifully, that is exactly what it means. My husband and I have a non-profit working with at-risk youth and families doing farming and gardening. We give away nearly 90% of what we grow which also instills an urgency for community service and an empathy for others. We instill this in kids who are in the same boat but they tend to foget their plight when they are helping others in similar circumstances. One of our foster sons is 15 and has adhd, when he is in the garden he is the most at peace. We are also in a part of NC where tobacco farming was the main form of earning a living and that is dying out here, families who had tobacco farming as a manin source of income here have been found to have a high suicide rates. An investigative panel was formed three years ago and my county has the highest suicide rate in the state. There is a great need here and so we are trying to help our little corner of the world.
The state government has stepped in to help the tobacco farmers and is paying some of them to start mushroom and grape production.
Farming and gardening can give a sense of stability and center us back to our origin of existance,we become one with our Creator when we are working the earth and planting seeds that bring forth new life.
Used therapeutic horticulture once when I worked at a nursing/rehab center many years ago. We had access to a sun porch and water. Used standing at the potting bench to build up standing tolerance, use of regular and adapted equipment to do planting, potting, etc. A favorite plant was an ornamental hotpepper. The seeds were big enough to see, manipulate. Patients took their plants "home" with them, and would bring them to sunny windows during the day to get sun. It was wonderful. It was a morale booster. Saw a lot of people gain a lot of strength, balance, and dexterity through our program. Occupational therapy can no longer get reimbursement for such, and now there is Horticultural therapy, mostly found in VA, mental health, and troubled youth situations.
I am told years ago residents at our state mental hospitals were allowed to farm with horses and garden. I was told horses were preferred because if something was wrong with the patient they would just stop. The state owned some big beautiful farms. However some people thought the patients were being exploited, so, no more farming. At one point I believe they did have greenhouses still.
Mel Bartholomew.. the "Square Foot Gardening" fellow.. back in the early days of his 'deal' (1998?) had a place on his website where you could volunteer to work schools and nursing homes with his plan.
I applied but, don't remember what ever came of it? I moved, for one! But I may consider this again. It would be so nice to build some (real) raised beds and put in a nursing home and watch them 'grow'!
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