The R3 Community Recovery Garden is a volunteer effort to help those in need in our area. Living in the area I became aware of the needs of the elderly, low-income, and homeless in our area. There was a local lot that was empty and growing nasty weeks but little else. I felt God tugging on my heart. I found myself thinking, “If we could purchase the land and turn it into a garden we could help others in our area that struggle with poverty, addiction or homelessness and beautify our neighborhood.” It was a win-win idea so that is where R3 Community Recovery Garden began.
Everyone is welcomed at the R3 Garden. Anyone can come and work in the garden as well as share in its bounty. We have future plans to build a small brick cob oven and a barbeque so that we can serve soup and bread to those who come to the garden. We hope to raise enough money to build a gazebo in the center of the garden with tables where people can sit, talk, and enjoy the garden and each other. Our goal is that everyone that enters the garden to be fed spirit, soul, and body!
Working in a garden is very therapeutic and can be very rewarding. Watching something you planted grow can give one a sense of accomplishment. This can foster feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem that can then be taken out into the rest of the world. It can create momentum that can carry a person forward so that they believe they can accomplish anything.
The items we have selected to grow are to enhance healing through good nutrition. There is much healing the body need to do once someone is free of addiction or coming out of poverty. We have selected items that we believe that can support those who have few fresh vegetables and fruits.
Working in a garden has many benefits both for an individual as well as the local community. We are located in an area that has a very diverse blend of cultures and a very high rate of poverty. We are located within a few short blocks of a large low income housing complex and a men’s rescue mission. Coming together to build this garden feeds the soul of the community and it fosters a greater sense of community. People can connect and come to know their neighbors. It assists in breaking down the barriers of language, age, and cultural differences and opens the door to unity within the community. It also assists in creating structure so other social issues are more easily addressed.