Digging in the dirt to plant seeds feels good.
Tending to growing vegetables and herbs as they grow is rewarding.
Eating field-to-table meals is delicious and healthy.
Sometimes, though, just looking at all the beautiful colors, shapes, repetition, and textures of the garden is more remarkable than words can express. Maybe this is why several stipend participants have expressed interest in sketching or taking photographs to reflect on their farm experiences, rather than writing in a journal this year.
And we love the idea!
After all, each of us processes and expresses experiences in different ways. We’re especially excited about this approach because research and practice have found art-making helps many survivors address issues of anxiety, depression, and other physical, cognitive, and neurological problems related to the trauma of abuse. Interestingly, the benefits of art-making are similar to the positive effects farming has on survivors. (For more information about art therapy and domestic violence, check out these resources: A Window Between Worlds; American Art Therapy Association; the International Art Therapy Organization, and this Psychology Today article.)
Taking some time to appreciate the beauty and rhythm on the farm sure seems like the perfect complement to the therapy of being out in the fresh air, helping vegetables and flowers grow, and eating field-to table meals. For all of these reasons and more, we’re really happy to share the first drawing from the farm made by a talented and creative survivor participating in our farm stipend program.