In order to raise the awareness of our children regarding health issues such as a healthy nutrition in co-ordinance with environmental issues, Neve Hanna established, thanks to a special donation from a friend in the USA, a greenhouse. Our children learn where their fruit and vegetables come from, as well as how much effort, care and natural resources are needed to have them in the end on our plates. Our children were involved enthusiastically for over a year in our greenhouse project, when we soon realized that we should explore gardening/horticultural therapy for the mental and physical well-being of our children and teenagers.
Gardening/Horticultural Therapy techniques are employed to assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. Gardening/Horticultural Therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In physical rehabilitation, Gardening/Horticultural Therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational Gardening/Horticultural Therapy settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions.
Gardening/Horticultural Therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.