Adapting from military to civilian life is a difficult challenge for veterans, one that can result in high rates of depression, social isolation, homelessness and substance abuse. Military relationships form at a rapid pace, often under pressure, causing veterans to feel out of place after returning home.
Veterans Healing Farm provides a healthy community where veterans can grow into their new role in society, while also growing nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Air Force veteran John Mahshie and his wife, Nicole, created Veterans Healing Farm on his ten-acre family plot in Hendersonville, North Carolina. “We wanted to provide them that opportunity to have fun and learn a sustainable skill,” Mahshie said. From planting the seed to watching it grow, the farming process can be a very therapeutic experience for veterans.
“It’s an opportunity to come and sit and work in a space,” Mahshie said. “It’s so great to really process through some experiences, think about where you’re going, what you want to do and to also have that opportunity in community to live life together, get to know other people and be known by other people.”
Mahshie’s farm offers a new community, mission and a sense of hope outside of the military. Working together on the land, veterans cultivate friendships, build a sense of self-worth and maintain physical and emotional health, all while providing a sustainable food source for their community.
“For guys that have been exposed to a lot of death, there’s something about putting a seed in the ground and nurturing the seed and watching it become something that’s not only going to nurture their body but it’s going to benefit and give life to others as well.”
John Mahshie | Founder, Veterans Healing Farm
The farm donates organic fruit, vegetables and flowers free of charge to veterans and their families, food pantries and homeless shelters. On top of that, veterans participate in potlucks, camping retreats and learn new skills, including permaculture gardening techniques and animal care.
In addition to teaching farming skills, Veterans Healing Farm offers free equine therapy workshops for veterans. Working with horses in Equine Assisted Therapy provides a unique therapeutic experience, connecting the veterans to others on an emotional level and building intellectual awareness.
Find Out More and Support Veterans Healing Farm
Budget Dumpster recently had the opportunity to work with Veterans Healing Farm in support of their mission. The donation of a new heavy-duty dump cart for the farm replaced one that no longer met the farm’s growing needs. The cart is used to haul dirt, compost and other materials.
Budget Dumpster is honored to partner with Veterans Healing Farm and like-minded organizations that positively impact our communities.
Interested in supporting Veterans Healing Farm? Visit their website to make a donation.
At Budget Dumpster, we support sustainable, community-focused organizations across the country, from waterway cleanups to neighborhood revitalization projects. If you work for a nonprofit or organization with an upcoming cleanup project, visit our dumpster donation page to request a free dumpster.