Men in recovery at Addiction Recovery Care’s (ARC) Crown Recovery Center in Springfield and Lackey residential center in Louisa are busy spending their summer tending to themselves and new gardens.
On any given day you can find clients from all walks of life pulling weeds, watering future fresh vegetables, and taking in lessons about proper gardening techniques.
The gardens are now booming as stalks of corn make their final turn before harvest, zucchini being picked by the bucket load, three different tomatoes wear different shades of green and red, and fresh peppers prepare to spice up a future meal.
At Crown Recovery Center, Adam Clary, a Peer Support Specialist at the facility, says seeing clients connect with the bigger purpose of the garden has been what has made the campus event so special.
“I think what we have learned is that whenever you plant something, there is a lot more than just putting it into the ground,” said Clary. “Whether it be a seed in recovery or a seed in the ground here, it takes a lot of work and nurturing and a lot of patience.”
James Campbell, a client at Crown Recovery Center, has been tending to the garden since day one. He has been farming since childhood and is now enjoying sharing his experience with other men in recovery.
“Many of these guys have never picked up a hoe or turned the dirt so with us being down here and helping, we are hoping that they can take what they are learning here and take back home and be able to start their own garden.”
At Lackey residential facility, clients say they harvest fresh vegetables daily and have been cooking with them nearly every night.
“We want to add things to people’s lives to make it better,” said Addiction Recovery Care’s Success Manager Courtney Howell. “I believe having opportunities to grow a garden or learn how to work in a garage are all things that are going to add to a person’s life.”
The clients say their end goal is to host a dinner where 100 percent of the meal was sourced directly from their garden and hard work.