In the spring of 2023, REHOPE Farms expanded its gardening capabilities with a project that combines flowers and vegetables in an easy to maintain raised bed garden complex.
The garden is the focal point at a common outdoor break area and its flowering arches cross over the sidewalk that connects two residential buildings on REHOPE Farms.
The project designer and lead capitalized on each step of the process to educate residents at REHOPE farms on site selection based on sunlight throughout the day, positioning of plants based on size and subsequent access or shade from the sun, proper soil and mulch mixture for maximizing growth and water retention.
As the garden grows, residents learn in real time about the best hours to water, best practices for routine maintenance (weeding, etc.) of the plants and ultimately ideal harvesting ripeness of the various vegetables planted.
The learning and the therapy does not stop with the harvest.
REHOPE residents will utilize the proceeds from the garden to make fresh salads and salsa to be canned and utilized throughout the remainder of the year.
Witnessing the full cycle of building the garden to planting, harvesting and then utilizing the food for their own nourishment instills discipline, patience, planning and provides each participant with skills that can be used year after year in the garden, but also transferred to various other facets of life like relationships, work, and of course trauma recovery cycles.
Visit REHOPE.org to support survivors and fight against human trafficking.