The Share Garden @ Stable Days
Our garden program functions as a platform for reducing stress, facilitating moments of reflection and jump starting conversations relating to healthy choices, nutrition, sustainability and overall personal wellness. In the garden, anxiety is reduced and activity is increased. Curiosity and goodwill grow alongside the seeds that are planted as kids give of their time and talents; and in return they enjoy a tasty harvest and then they share with those in need. Compassion, generosity and HARD work are expressed in a tangible way as those who participate are allowed the opportunity to consider those less fortunate and take action.
In our 2014 and 2015 seasons, the ranch kiddos and volunteers planted, watered, weeded and ate from our garden and then donated over 1,100lbs of fresh vegetables to community food cupboards! Community youth, including those labeled ‘less fortunate’ helping to feed the hungry in our community! THAT’S INSPIRATIONAL!
The Share Garden serves as a tasting and accepting ground for kids in their relationship with vegetables. Each year without fail we have vegetable-phobic kids overcoming their fear and sitting in our garden, and with grinning mouths, they are eating what their hands helped produce. This has opened up their minds and their taste buds to the idea that eating healthy will not ‘kill’ them! Combining the confidence of knowledge, peer support, hands-on experiences and even humor our ranch kids have grown to love the garden.
The garden allows us to place a much needed emphasis on living the most active lifestyle possible for your personal circumstances. We teach the joys of playing hard, working hard and being nice. Our mentors get as sweaty and dirty as their kiddos working side by side, demonstrating the ‘work can be fun’ concept, with a sweet balance of diligence and hilarity.
“Fun is at times missed because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas A. Edison
Through the Stable Days mentoring program we encourage youth towards positive behavior, focusing on the unique life story and needs of each participant. We support them as they overcome negative circumstances and grow in areas such as healthy choices, self-control, diligence, compassion, team work, empathy and patience. Although our horses steal the show on most days, our garden program is equally terrific, and has allowed us many opportunities to witness personal growth. One of our ranch kiddos was so impressed with the vegetables she had grown, she asked if in addition to the bunch she was taking home, could she pick enough to share with her 5th grade class. Seeing kids excited about vegetables is priceless!
Parents/guardians are encouraged to volunteer in the garden during the horsemanship portion of their child’s session. They can work alongside a volunteer staff member that is available to answer questions and encourage them to take a lead role in moving their families towards a more active and nutrition minded home.
Forks Well Fed
A FREE earn as you learn opportunity where participants attend a monthly meeting to set wellness goals, discuss nutrition and learn helpful life skills. At each meeting attending participants earn their Market Tokens. Tokens are redeemed for fresh local fruits and vegetables at the Town Square or the Forks Mobile Farmer's Markets.