Planting Seeds of Recovery: The Quakertown House Garden

September 1, 2016

Over the course of several months, staff and residents of Quakertown House have been planting, tilling, weeding, and caring for a variety of plants in their community garden.

“Gardening is another therapeutic activity we offer to support recovery goals,” said Toby Tarquin Stackhouse, Administrator of Quakertown House.

Residents and staff have been enjoying the process of growing zucchini, beans, and tomatoes.  Gardeners have developed new peer relationships, and the produce grown has been used to supply ingredients for various recipes for meals and the Cooking Group.  Gardeners have especially enjoyed sharing the extra produce with the New Vitae Wellness and Recovery community. 

The garden also provides an opportunity for visitors to participate in the fun.  Families, friends, and peers of the house residents have assisted with nurturing the plants throughout the growth cycle.  Jim H., father of one of the residents, makes a point of visiting the garden with his son every time he visits.  “It’s a perfect place to quietly enjoy the outdoors with your family,” he says.  Jim has been working with his son to stake and tie the tomato plants, encouraging their growth and fruit production throughout the summer months.  The activity brings happiness to residents who have shared an interest in gardening for many years.

As the seasons change, Quakertown House staff have been talking about plans for next year’s garden.  The enthusiasm and expertise of the house residents suggest that the garden will continue to flourish for years to come.

"Thank you so much for helping me start the healing process in a positive way.  I was apprehensive that the program would be right for me and that I could succeed.  I have been able to reinvent myself as a calmer, happier, sober person."

- Diane A. (former treatment participant)