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To our Veterans

If you live in Sonoma County, California, you can benefit from the currently offered H.A.V.E.  workshops and our Veterans Organic Peace Garden in front of the VA Clinic by the Sonoma County Airport.  

See our Workshop tab on the top or side menus and participate. 

They are FREE. 

Come visit our Garden and help us with the planting, maintenance like watering, and the harvest of vegetables, organically grown by folks in the community, Vets and non-Vets helping each other. 

Do only what you can per your ability status. 

We will announce Work Parties on this website - see the Help/ Volunteer  tab. 



Newsletter - Winter 2014

Newsletter PDF

     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 Clinic.

     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 by HAVE.

     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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