Our garden program functions as a platform for reducing stress, facilitating moments of reflection and jump starting conversations relating to healthy choices, nutrition, sustainability and overall personal wellness. In the garden, anxiety is reduced and activity is increased. Curiosity and goodwill grow alongside the seeds that are planted as kids give of their time and talents; and in return they enjoy a tasty harvest and then they share with those in need. Compassion, generosity and HARD work are expressed in a tangible way as those who participate are allowed the opportunity to consider those less fortunate and take action.
The ranch kiddos and volunteers plant, water, weed and eat from our gardens and then donated thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables to community food cupboards, Northland Rescue Mission and The Fork's Well Fed Program.
The Share Garden serves as a tasting and accepting ground for kids in their relationship with vegetables. Each year without fail we have vegetable-phobic kids overcoming their fear and sitting in our garden, and with grinning mouths, they are eating what their hands helped produce. This has opened up their minds and their taste buds to the idea that eating healthy will not ‘kill’ them! Combining the confidence of knowledge, peer support, hands-on experiences and even humor our ranch kids have grown to love the garden and the tasty harvest they help with.
The garden allows us to place a much needed emphasis on living the most active lifestyle possible for your personal circumstances. We teach the joys of playing hard, working hard and being nice. Our mentors get as sweaty and dirty as their kiddos working side by side, demonstrating the ‘work can be fun’ concept, with a sweet balance of diligence and hilarity.
All of our visitors are encouraged to volunteer in the garden, working alongside a volunteer staff member that will be available to answer questions and encourage everyone to consider the current state of their health and if needed, take a lead role in moving themselves and their families towards a more active and nutrition minded home.