Newsletter - Winter 2014
Our organization is an all volunteer non-profit group
operating in Sonoma County to “ Help veterans to have a
healthy and productive life “ by offering wellness guidance
workshops in Art, Music, Humor, Literature, Massage
therapies and Organic gardening at our “ Veterans Organic
Peace Garden “, located in front of the SRVA Outpatient
This fall we have been very busy in our garden. Starting
in mid September we began our transition from summer
plants to winter starts, once again donated by the
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, who have been
donating most all of our starts since we started the garden
in the late summer of 2011.
In October we gave away thirty six half wine barrels for
planters to several dozen veterans, along with winter starts.
The wine barrels were donate by Pezzi King Vineyards and
Peterson Winery, both located in Dry Creek Valley. The
response was for more planters than we had, so we are now
looking for more barrels to be donated to us, to cut in half
and give to many more happy veterans.
On November 8th our garden was part of the Girl Scouts
of America “Amazing Race “. Twenty two teams of four
girls each arrived during a two hour period. Each team
filled a five gallon bucket with weeds that they pulled and
then emptied it in the dumpsters in back of the clinic. They
started at 4:30 pm so that the later arrivals were working in
the dark, by flashlight. We all had a great time and we hope
that we will stay involved with them in the future.
On Tuesday the 25th of November we were honored by
the company across the street from our garden and the
clinic, Medtronic, with a donation of two fruit trees. One a
Sierra Apple and the other a Pomegranate. Each tree was
planted in a large wooden box near our raised beds.
The team from Medtronic then set up two tables with
pomegranate seeds and juice, as well as apple slices and
bottled water for the fifty or so of their employees who
attended the donation ceremony. Lee Gooding, our
Executive Director, addressed the crowd with the history of
the garden and the benefits of eating fresh organic produce.
Then Farmer Tom Presely, our head gardener veteran
volunteer, spoke about his time in the service and how
being involved in the garden has helped him so much in
dealing with his PTSD. His talk was really emotion packed
and drew loud applause from the Medtronic employees.
At this point all of the employees hung thank you notes
on the two trees for all of the veterans who use the clinic,
for their service to our country. Many veterans joined in the
ceremony and we were all very appreciative for the two
trees and all of their thank you cards.
We also want to give special thanks to Andy's Produce
and Manzana Products Company, both in Sebastopol, Ca.
Andy's has been helping us since we started operating in
2009 by donating produce and gift certificates for our
annual fund raisers, plus donation jars at their counters.
This month, as well as last year at this time, Andy's has
set up a table with hot apple cider for their customers for a
small donation of ten cents. Many dollar bills go into our
jars from their generous customers and they raised over one
thousand dollars for us last year!
This year Dee, Andy's brother, asked Manzana if they
could donate some cases of their very delicious apple cider,
which are stacked behind the table with the hot cider, to
which they replied “How about a pallet full?” Wow! This is
fifty cases, twelve bottles to a case!
All of the proceeds from the sale of the apple cider will
be donated to HAVE, as well as the money from the
donation jars. We plan on sharing this great donation with
the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans and
enlisting their help in placing pavers on the paths into our
garden for the disabled veterans to help in the gardening.
Also this month, Lee Gooding will be opening a new
office in Santa Rosa, at the Coddingtown Shopping center,
for his business, Healthy Habits Massage. It will also be
used as a site for future free workshops for veterans offered
Some of the workshops that he will be teaching will be:
humor, massage therapy, stretching, nutrition and the Bates
Eye exercises. We will also invite other volunteers to offer
their services to present their own workshop here, which
will be of benefit to the veteran community.
Many activities can be and are therapeutic for people with
PTSD. We plan on offering many more workshops at our
garden in the spring and the summer. Some may be Tai Chi,
photography and sculpting.
Please contact us with your ideas.
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