“They have served us, now it is our turn to serve them.”
As the many studies show, organic vegetable gardening has therapeutic value for both the body and the mind. It is the healing power of nature at work. It has been especially helpful for many combat veterans. The process of creating life, rather than destroying it helps the brain create new synapses with beneficial impulses that replace the harmful ones needed in war. Gardening is perhaps the most effective way of helping combat veterans to successfully reintegrate in to society.
Healing Military Families
The current military divorce rate is one of the most serious contributors to veteran suicide, as well as PTSD, and other difficulties that hinder a veteran’s ability to successfully return to society. It is higher now than ever. – But Patriot Family Gardens will greatly reduce those numbers. They provide a wonderful way for combat troops to reconnect with their families.
When a family is involved in vegetable gardening, it gives them a shared sense of purpose because it is something they can do together as well as have the opportunity to enjoy the “Fruits of their labor.” But the healing affects that gardening can have on a mind that has been stressed to a breaking point is immeasurable. After seeing so much death and destruction, imagine being able to bring life to something by simply planting a seed, nurturing and caring for it while it grows to maturity, and then harvesting it to share with your family or friends. This is a project the whole family can get involved in, and children love it! Teaching children how to grow and eat healthy is something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Some of the benefits of this program:
• It can help military families offset the cost of their food bill.
• They will know exactly how their food is grown. (This can be a major benefit to those families who have children who are sensitive to chemicals or pesticides.)
• They will be eating nutrient dense foods.
• Helps build a family bond by giving them a project and purpose together.
• Helps returning soldiers with the healing process from the stresses of war and returning to their families and society after these experiences.
• Gives our veterans an opportunity for a new career with a renewed sense of purpose.
Gardening has a wonderful way of bringing people together and imbuing them with a sense of community – which is why “Community Gardens” are so popular. –Gardening communities often bond together and sell their produce at local farmers’ markets. The profits from these events can pay for the costs of maintaining their gardens and even help military families in financial need.
Patriot Family Gardens is a program that teaches and trains our soldiers and their families how to create and grow organic, community gardens. And they are also trained to teach others how to create Military Family Gardens. So, when they get transferred to another base they will know how to set up this program there.
Careers in Organic Gardening
A recipient of our diploma will be completely qualified and prepared to begin and foster organic gardens in communities across America and the world. – Not only for our military, but the need for healthy food is rapidly becoming an imminent national crisis. – Diabetes will affect 1 in every 3 Americans in the next ten years. Obesity is already out of control. World-wide hunger is rampant. And there is an alarming and rapid growth of hungry people in our country and in an increasing number of nations too. – Some of the veterans certified by our courses will be employed by our non-profit to foster Military Family Gardens across the US. Some will be employed by companies, communities and the government as the solution to this very real threat. They will be important and vital members of our new Green society.
Patriotic Hearts (our 501c3 non-profit) is seeking to create multiple Patriot Family Gardens, complete with raised beds, organic soil and amendments, hardware cloth for gophers, etc. We will also provide ongoing classes and training on different subjects all around organic gardening. Upon completion of the classes, students will be awarded a Certificate as a “Community Organic Gardener.”
Some of the classes include:
• Raised Bed construction
• Soil preparation – organic soil and amendments
• How to fertilize with organic fertilizers
• Natural pest control
• How to water your vegetables
• Companion planting
• How to maintain soil health and fertility
• Vermi-composting (worm composting)
To properly prepare our students for careers in organic gardening, we will also provide training in “How to begin and maintain a successful business.” – These classes will be taught by some of the veteran business owners that are regional leaders of HirePatriots.com.
The goals of Patriot Family Gardens are to Heal, Help, Feed, Train and Employ veterans to help, heal, feed, train and employ others.
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to this worthy and vital effort, please contact us. Our non-profit tax ID is #20-8599179.