Planting the Seeds to Overcome Addiction
Healthy, locally grown food is a priority for the diet of the men at Victory Home, a private substance abuse rehabilitation center in Habersham County. UGA Master Gardener Extension Volunteers from the Headwaters Chapter worked with local Extension agents to restore a 100’ x 30' greenhouse, 5,000-square-foot vegetable plots, and 50 shitake mushroom logs at Victory Home to feed the men and provide a means of income for the center. The first step was to clean the greenhouse and to prepare for a fund-raising event, the wreath making class. Using the seed money from the wreathmaking class, the group worked to restore the greenhouse to active production which included basic improvements on greenhouse structure including repairing the benches, water lines, and sealing holes in the plastic. The group also attached a shade cloth to reduce the intensity of the sun for crop production. Agents conducted a soil test, applied lime and fertilizer to soil test recommendations and worked the soil to establish several rotations of crops using equipment from the Chestattee Chattahoochee Rural Development Council. Adjacent to the plot in the wood line, Master Gardeners inoculated 50 shitake mushroom logs with the residents. In April the group hosted a plant sale at the greenhouse and thrift store to raise funds for Victory Home. The greenhouse project assists Victory Home by providing a source of food for the residents as well as financial assistance from the plant sales and Thrift Store sales. These funds go into the operation of the greenhouse and the daily activities of the facility. The mission of Victory Home is to feed the mind, body, spirit, and soul of the men. The mission of the greenhouse project is to feed the body and provide education that improves the nutritional status of the residents now and for the future.