Horticultural therapy is an effective method of improving the physical and mental well-being of people of all ages. This practice involves using plants and gardening activities to help individuals relax, reduce stress, and improve their cognitive and emotional functioning. Horticultural therapy can be particularly beneficial for children, as it provides them with a fun and engaging way to develop important life skills while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the key benefits of horticultural therapy:
- Improves physical health: Gardening and other horticultural activities require physical exertion, which can help children develop their gross and fine motor skills. Planting, digging, and watering plants can also help children develop their hand-eye coordination, balance, and endurance.
- Enhances emotional well-being: Horticulture therapy can be a powerful tool for helping children regulate their emotions and manage stress. Spending time in nature and engaging in activities like planting and caring for plants can be very calming and can help children develop a sense of responsibility and self-esteem.
- Develops cognitive skills: Gardening requires children to use their problem-solving, observation, and analytical skills. For example, children must learn how to identify different plants, understand how they grow, and decide how much water and sunlight they need. These skills can help children develop critical thinking and decision-making abilities.
- Encourages healthy habits: Horticulture therapy can help children develop a love of nature and an appreciation for the environment. It can also encourage healthy eating habits, as children may be more likely to try new fruits and vegetables if they have grown them themselves.
- Provides a sense of accomplishment: Watching plants grow and thrive can be very rewarding, and children can develop a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. This can help children build self-confidence and a sense of purpose.
Build & Plant a Pizza/Salsa Garden!
A Horticultural Therapy Project for Tweens & Teens
Week 1 - June 20th – 3:30-5:30 PM
The therapeutic skill for the 1st week is Mindfulness. In this class, parents are invited to stay for a 20-minute orientation and an exploration of the barn and garden space. After orientation, the students will establish group goals & guidelines. Sarah will review the vegetables and herbs that they will be planting and learning about. Every class will end with a closing reflection, taste testing, reviewing plans for the following week, and 10-15 minutes of sharing what they learned with parents.
Week 2 - June 27th – 3:30-5:30 PM
The therapeutic skill for the 2nd week is Interpersonal Effectiveness. In this class, students will help determine the garden space plan and plants being used for pizza and salsa. Students will learn the aspects of growth, including annual and perennial status, height/light requirements, growth, spread, etc. They will work as a group to draw and design garden ideas. Students will practice listening to multiple perspectives, synthesizing ideas, and reaching consensus. Class will end with a closing reflection, taste testing, reviewing plans for the following week, and 10-15 minutes of sharing what they learned with parents.
Week 3 – July 11th – 3:30-5:30 PM
The therapeutic skill for the 3rd week is Distress Tolerance. In this class, students will work in teams to prepare the ground for a raised bed. Students will participate in building a frame, installing the liner, and filling the bed with soil. The group will prepare the plants to adjust to the weather. Students will also learn that distressing emotions are like energy and will have a better understanding how to deal with those emotions as they arise with healthy responses. Class will end with a closing reflection, taste testing, reviewing plans for the following week, and 10-15 minutes of sharing what they learned with parents.
Week 4 – July 18th – 3:30-5:30 PM
The therapeutic skill for the 4th week is Emotion Regulation. In this class, students will help install the plants and paint name stones to label each plant in the garden. We will discuss the gardens completion while making fresh salsa together. Then we will celebrate eating chips and salsa together! Students will be invited back to harvest from the garden when it is ready, so they can make their own salsa and pizza at home!
Harvest date TBD.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where is the Angel K Love Project (AKLP) Farmstead?
AKLP Farmstead is located in Hendersonville, specifically in the township of Fruitland. The address will be shared after payment is received. We are very close to Justus Orchards.
What about cancelations and bad weather?
Cancellations and no-shows are non-refundable. There will be no make-up classes in the event of a participant’s absence. If rain occurs, activities will continue in our barn. However, we will offer a make-up class on July 25th if the weather does not allow for a safe environment.
Are there any other Farm Rules?
Yes, for the safety and security of our farm and our animals, we must enforce the following rules on the farm:
- No smoking, vaping, tobacco products, drugs, or CBD.
- No outside pets allowed. Leaving them in the car is prohibited.
- No spectators allowed without being registered.
- No outside treats for the animals.
- No going to other areas of the farm without permission.
- No personal belongings inside the pastures (phones and water bottles are an exception).
- No littering.
- Parents/guardians! You are encouraged to participate in the first 30-min of the first class! After that, you are welcome to wait in your car or leave and come back. Please note, you are also encouraged to be a part of the last 10-15 minutes of weeks #2-4 to do a "walkthrough" to see what your child/children accomplished.
- We have one handicap porta potty and running water to wash your hands.
- We highly recommend wearing sturdy closed-toe shoes due to the uneven terrain, prickly plant life, and safety from our animals.
- This class is outdoors and held rain or shine. Be prepared for any type of weather – layering clothing, umbrellas, rain gear, hat, sunscreen, water bottle, backpack, etc.
- Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time. We will gather in front of our barn until everyone arrives. Please arrive on time so you don’t lose precious class time.
- Everyone must sign a liability waiver on the first visit and be present to hear all the safety tips before entering into any areas of the farmstead.
- Our farm strives to be all-inclusive and welcomes all guests. We celebrate diversity and strive to make a safe space that is more inclusive and less oppressive to all of people’s many identities including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, family structure, ability, and more.
Horticultural Therapy is a fun and engaging way for children to learn important life skills while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Second, it can help children develop important emotional and cognitive skills, which can improve their academic and social functioning. Finally, it provides children with a sense of accomplishment and pride, which can boost their self-esteem and confidence. Overall, horticulture therapy is an effective and enjoyable way for children to learn, grow, and thrive!
Only 8 spots available! Enroll today!