Healthy Gardens: Growing food & Changing Lives

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“Thank you Inspiritus for all y’all do for me and my family and others who have a garden through you. Because without y’all we and other people we wouldn’t able to grow and enjoy this blessing that Jesus placed upon us.  Again I want to say thank you”

- a Healthy Gardens Participant


Inspiritus wrapped up our Healthy Gardens spring Plant Days in mid-May, and our gardeners are beginning to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of their labor.  Inspiritus staff and volunteers helped participants plant a total of 184 raised beds in middle Tennessee communities.  In turn those gardens will provide healthy food for 281 individuals plus approximately 140 neighbors and friends who benefit from shared produce.     


All of our gardens are planted in public or subsidized housing complexes for individuals and families with limited incomes. Often their budget constraints can make including fruits or vegetables in their diets a challenge.  Thanks to our generous donors, Inspiritus is able to provide the raised beds, gardening tools, supplies and plants and seeds plus the know-how and muscle to get the gardens started.  The raised beds are built right outside their doors, allowing the gardeners free and convenient access to fresh, vitamin rich produce. Last year 14,729 meals were supplemented with fruits and vegetables from the Healthy Gardens harvests.  

Beyond the financial and health advantages, the additional benefits of gardening often have the biggest impact on a gardener’s life, improving their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

“I have had more than one gardener say that their garden is the reason they get out of bed in the morning.  These little gardens mean the world to many of them. They provide a sense of pride, responsibility and ownership,” says Janet Arning, regional director, middle Tennessee.  “This program is simple, but it’s so impactful. It can really be life changing.”


Stay up-to-date with Healthy Gardens by liking our Inspiritus - Middle Tennessee Facebook page.