You can grow your own food. And we can help!

A Two-Tour Vet Gardens to Heal

Jun 18, 2014

Recently I wrote about how kitchen gardens can help rehabilitate those whose lives have derailed. Gardens also have the power to heal as is the case with US Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Rice featured in this photo with his wife Brittany. 

Michael served two combat tours in Al Anbar Province (Iraq) and in Marjeh (Afghanistan) and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He sees gardening as therapy. Always willing to assist in anyway, Michael is seen regularly at the Federal City Community Garden ( see more about this KGI-sponsored project here: ) helping the other gardeners design, plant and maintain their beds while still managing our three compost bins. 

Since the garden's conception, Sgt. Rice has played a leadership role in the garden's operation. He has helped organize and has participated in three volunteer builds, which constructed a total of 41 cinder-block raised beds for active duty military, Reservists, Department of Defense workers, in addition to New Orleans Westbank residents, a population that has been traditionally underserved.

As Michael says "there is just something about putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually watching something grow from seed to harvest. You are creating and nurturing something absolutely beautiful. Gardening eases my stress and improves my mood while providing my family with fresh healthy food." 

"The sense of community that has developed from the Federal City Community Garden is phenomenal. Our gardeners have become like family," says Michael. And that family is about to grow: Michael and Brittany are expecting a new baby in July.

Sgt. Michael Rice: we salute you!

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