The VA Farms and Gardens program is helping Veteran patients at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (Madison VA).

VA Farms is a pilot program started in 2018 and the Therapeutic Gardening program was developed in the fall of 2020.

Man works in VA Farms and Gardens program plot

Veteran Patrick Williams: “It’s therapeutic. It calms my mind down.”

It’s active year round, and during winter months the program offers many virtual or in-person gardening classes as well as planning for the following spring.

The hospital prides itself on the various means of care and support it offers Veterans, and VA Farms and Gardens uses gardening in a therapeutic way to help improve their quality of life.

Veterans welcome to take squash home

According to Occupational Therapist Ann Hanson, it’s about getting Veterans out and about.

“We have Veterans who come and help maintain it,” Hanson said. “We have some squash and tomatoes, peppers, a variety of stuff, and Veterans are welcome to take stuff home.”

The program has several raised garden beds located on the main campus in Madison. The program also encourages Veterans to utilize gardening as a relaxing and productive outlet to help them maintain a balanced and fulfilling life.

Veteran patient Patrick Williams learned about the program from Hanson and was really glad he got involved.

“It’s therapeutic,” he said. “It calms my mind down about certain things. If you want to come through, if you have PTSD, or bi-polar or schizophrenia, it should help”

If you have any questions about the VA Farms and Gardens Program or would like more information, please contact Whole Health at 608-256-1901 extension 12537.

By Paul Rickert is chief of public affairs at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

Share this story

Published on Nov. 13, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.4 min.

Views to date: 332

More Stories

  • Women Veteran enrollment at Dublin VA increased by 20 percent over the last two years. New primary care and Women’s Health clinic will address the growing need for women’s health care.

  • Tennessee Veterans and staff were treated to a Veterans Day concert hosted by Musicians On Call and Wrangler at Alvin C. York VA in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

  • Central Ohio VA employees were invited on stage to tell Veterans about VA health care at the 2022 VetsAid benefit concert.