Yielding Produce and Recovery
by Michelle Jacobs,
Community Relations Officer, DNREC
The summer gardening season is over and fall is upon us. A
tremendous amount of work was accomplished over the past few months in the
Delaware Psychiatric Center’s (DPC) Holloway Campus Therapeutic and Community
Garden, a joint project of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
and Delaware Department Agriculture. The accomplishments were made possible
through a grant program from the National Association of Resource Conservation &
Development Councils (NARC&DC) with financial sponsorship by the USDA Natural
Resources Conservation Service, coupled with a lot of labor from many sources.
The garden’s theme is Planting Hope, Harvesting Recovery, but hope and
recovery weren’t the only things planted and harvested this summer.
It has been proven that gardening has positive cognitive,
psychological, social and physical benefits. And that is why many therapists
and clients at the Holloway Campus utilize the garden during therapy sessions.
The garden is actually comprised of three distinct areas: a sensory garden, a
vegetable garden, and a butterfly garden. The sensory garden is designed to
appeal to the five senses with bright colors, edible flowers, wind chimes,
aromatic herbs, and plants, such as sage, that feel different to the touch. The
vegetable garden yielded fresh produce to be sold on Market Day including
zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and more. Proceeds from the market days will
help fund future garden activities. Excess produce was donated to the Delaware
Food Bank. The butterfly garden contains a variety of flowers and shrubs, and
provides habitat for many butterflies, pollinators, hummingbirds, and beneficial
Colorful ceramic signs and planters, along with beautiful
bluebird and bee houses, have been created and decorated by clients in art
therapy sessions and were placed in the garden. The music therapist encouraged
clients to incorporate sights and sounds from the garden into their songs and
discussions. There were plenty of opportunities for physical activity as the
gardens needed to be weeded, watered, and maintained all summer. The DPC
Holloway Campus therapeutic and community garden had a very successful growing
season this year thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and a national grant.
The accomplishments would still be goals without such funding. To keep up with
garden progress you can visit the “Planting Hope in Delaware” Facebook page.
Campus clients helped harvest produce from the vegetable garden.
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