Our Programs

Horticultural Therapy

13346916_1035718256476900_1502265730389443732_nA professional horticultural therapist from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens plans and conducts activity sessions to help participants achieve the following benefits:

  • Physical health through purposeful exercise (level determined by ability), fresh air, learning about nutrition, practicing healthy eating
  • Emotional health through stress reduction, connecting to nature, creative expression, successful outcomes with plants
  • Social health through social interaction, cooperative enterprise, community building  
  • Learning new skills in horticulture and related fields to promote vocational and leisure opportunities


12345494_937610789620981_6951687458499804867_nDuring the seasonal, 10-12 week programs, participants learn about gardening, nutrition, and how to prepare healthy food. Gardening also provides the opportunity for socializing and exercising.

“I came to the farm in the spring of 2015….I took to it right away and still feel a sense of relief when I arrive. Horticultural Therapy became a big part of my life when I was really struggling with my mental illness. It gave me a purpose and a place to retreat.” —Client, Horticultural Therapy Program

Transportation is available from Carr Mill and locations in North Chatham to the Farm and back with advance notice.

Contact:
Sally Haskett, Horticultural Therapist
haskett@email.unc.edu
919-616-2262
Online registration

Wednesdays in the Garden

Group members participate in the seasonal work of the farm doing activities matched as closely as possible to their abilities and interests. Jessamine, the farmer, will teach a lesson about each new activity. On a typical day, participants can expect to do the following things:    

  • Mix potting soil
  • Plant seeds in trays
  • Pick ripe vegetables
  • Plant seeds in the ground
  • Transplant seedlings into larger pots or into the field
  • Put mulch on beds
  • And more!

On some days, there may be special projects like making decorative signs to mark the beds or cleaning and organizing the tools and supplies. There will be opportunities to learn how to garden organically and experience some of the personal health benefits that gardening can provide.

The group meets rain or shine, except when there is  stormy weather. We have sheltered areas for work on rainy days.

New sessions begin on the first Wednesday of every month and meet weekly through the end of the month. Transportation is available from Carr Mill and locations in North Chatham to the Farm and back with advance notice.

Contact:
Michelle Morehouse, Program Manager
michelle_morehouse@med.unc.edu
919-445-0665
Online registration

Farm Work Days

We meet as a community to tend to the current needs of the farm. Volunteers assist with planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting,  trail maintenance, and special projects.

Weekly and monthly work days serve three main purposes:

  • Community-building – Everyone who comes out to help is considered a volunteer. There is no distinction made between those with or without a mental health diagnosis. This is a powerful way to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Sustainability – With a half- acre in production, a flock of chickens, a greenhouse, an apiary, and a walking trail it takes the efforts of many to keep things running smoothly.
  • Education – Besides learning about the unique opportunities provided at the farm individuals can learn about sustainable agriculture, taking away skills they can use in their own gardens.

Weekday Work Day Schedule

  • Tuesdays from 10 AM – 12 PM
  • Fridays from 10 AM – 12 PM

Weekend Work Day Schedule

  • Second Saturdays from 9 AM – 12 PM*

Please use our online volunteer sign up.
*Our schedule varies seasonally. Please check the sign up for upcoming work day times.

 

Volunteering Guidelines:

  • Please give us 24-hour notice when signing up or canceling. We plan our work around volunteer availability. If you arrive unexpectedly or don’t show up at all it can have an impact on our staff.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a reusable drink container, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • All volunteers must complete a Volunteer Information Form and a Visitor Consent, Release, and Indemnity Agreement.
  • Youth, 17 and younger without a driver’s license, must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

Transportation is available from Carr Mill and locations in North Chatham to the Farm and back on Fridays with advance notice.

Contact:
Michelle Morehouse, Program Manager
michelle_morehouse@med.unc.edu
919-445-0665

 

Yoga for Wellness

Yoga is a mind and body practice with roots in ancient India. Yoga combines breathing (pranayama), postures (asana), and meditation or relaxation, to improve wellbeing.

Ashley Randall, a graduate of the Wilmington Yoga Center’s Yoga Teacher Training program, leads a yoga class on Wednesdays at 11:30 AM. Classes focus on breath, strength, balance, and mindful movement.

Transportation is available from Carr Mill and locations in North Chatham to the Farm and back with advance notice.

Contact:
Ashley Randall
Ashley_Randall@med.unc.edu
919-766-0360
Online registration

 

Field to Fork Cooking Classes

This group offers hands-on experience in bringing the foods that we grow at the farm to our table in a nutritious and tasty way!

No experience required!

Transportation is available from Carr Mill and locations in North Chatham to the farm and back with advance notice.

Contact:
Michelle Morehouse, Program Manager                                             Michelle_morehouse@med.unc.edu
919-445-0665
Online registration