-Bea Sias
One person in the Grow Appalachia Program is doing his planting a lot different from most. His name is Mike and he is 33 years old, married, and the father to 4 beautiful children. Mike was in the OIF invasion of Iraq in 2003. When he returned from his tour of duty in Iraq he became depressed. Not only is he depressed but suddenly on March 15th, 2014 he lost his father due to a massive heart attack. Mike, like most of everyone who loses a loved one, was very devastated.

Mike told me that he had a good garden last year and he canned quite a lot but this year he was more depressed than ever. Finally he came and got his seeds to start his garden, and then the last cold spree of winter happened upon us.

He is keeping a journal of how many rows of corn he is planting, how wide, and how many inches apart. He also lists everything he is planting and how well it has been growing. He writes in his journal every time he plants something new.

garden journal 2

Working in his garden is therapy for Mike; it keeps him busy and clears his mind. He also has a pretty little helper named Mattie, his 3-year-old daughter.

His goals for his garden are:

1. Keep it growing

2. Share this information with others if they want it

3. Donate to others

4. Have a green garden all summer

5. Have a huge harvest to can

6. Have a road side market (this is my main plan for next year)

He puts the weather report on each entry and the temperature. He said he would compare this garden to next years. The main point of this blog is to share his story and to show how a garden can be a good use of therapy.