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Fall Gardening: Healing and Harvesting

Spending time in nature can be an excellent escape if you are struggling with substance abuse. Nature in itself can be very healing. Research suggests that actually interacting with nature through gardening or horticulture therapy can be even more beneficial. Spending some time planting or harvesting, even in the fall, can be very calming.

When was the last time you spent some time in a garden? While you may think it is a seasonal activity, there are actually quite a few things that can be planted and harvested in the fall.

Gardening is something some people may do as a hobby. For others, gardening can serve as a therapeutic experience. Watching the fruits of your labor grow and flourish can be very rewarding and healing. Seeing the end product is always fulfilling. Believe it or not, the process of planting, watering, and nurturing can be just as gratifying.

Healing Through Gardening

Let’s dig a little deeper into the healing benefits of gardening and interacting with plants. Some people may really enjoy spending time in a garden, while others may not feel that they have a green thumb at all. Others may feel indifferent or have little experience with gardening.

When you think of gardening, you probably think of planting, trimming, watering, or harvesting. Other activities allow for interaction with gardens and plants too. Here at Enlightened Solutions, our therapeutic horticulture program utilizes natural materials to encourage healing and learning.

This can sometimes involve gardening tasks, but often it looks more unconventional. For example, a session might include making tea from freshly picked herbs from the garden. Or, it may involve seeding pumpkins in the fall to represent new goals and a new life in recovery.

The Farm at Enlightened Solutions

For those who have a green thumb or are interested in learning more about gardening tasks and practices, the farm offers clients an opportunity to learn hands-on. Our staff teaches you the importance of caring for something other than yourself and instills the value of working hard to grow organic and nutritious foods for yourself and your community.

Enlightened Solutions continues to offer activities and programs at the farm throughout the fall and winter seasons. This includes markets, volunteering opportunities, and a transitional employment program for clients.

Gardening in the fall can offer all of the same therapeutic benefits provided in the warmer months. If anything, the cooler temperatures might make the experience even more comfortable. Growing your own organic and nutritious produce can be very empowering and motivating.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer many programs at our farm that provide opportunities for learning new skills and healing. Staff members encourage clients to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. Many even discover talents and abilities they didn’t realize they possessed.

Skill Building on the Farm

While you are healing through our programs such as therapeutic horticulture, you can also learn new skills. Many are surprised by how much they enjoy gardening and farm work. The things you learn while engaging in therapeutic horticulture or other Enlightened Farm programs can help you once you complete treatment and enter recovery.

The skills and knowledge you gain while participating in these programs can also aid you in future employment. You can update your resume with meaningful experiences while still undergoing addiction treatment. This is ideal as it can help eliminate gaps in employment and help you build interest in new potential career fields.

Finding Purpose in Recovery

Engaging in programs at the Enlightened Farm can also provide you with purpose. The work you put in to maintain and care for the garden is for the greater good. You are helping to provide healthy and organic foods for others in treatment and your community.

Knowing that you are caring for something other than yourself and helping it flourish can restore purpose in your life. Many find giving back to be rewarding and motivating. Following addiction, finding purpose and motivation in life can make all the difference.

The skills and knowledge you gain as a result of therapeutic horticulture and farm programs can also revive your sense of purpose. It can be easy to lose touch with your strengths, interests, and skills while under the hold of addiction. You likely are not practicing them much during this time. By participating in gardening and farm activities, you can be reminded of the things that you love and discover new things you may have a gift for.

Cooler temperatures do not mean garden activities and programs stop. Fall gardening is in full swing at the Enlightened Farm, and so is our therapeutic horticulture program. This means that healing through gardening and interacting with nature can continue regardless of the season.

Gardening and spending time in nature is an excellent form of therapy. It not only pleases the senses but can serve as a temporary escape from stressors or worry. At Enlightened Solutions, we are rooted in a commitment to the health and sustenance of the earth and all humanity. Our goal is to support and nourish those struggling with substance use disorder and mental illness with holistic and evidence-based therapies. These include our horticulture therapy and other farm-based programs, which cultivate gratitude and connection among the members of our recovery community. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, reach out to Enlightened Solutions today by calling (833) 801-LIVE

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