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Garden offers growth for women in recovery for addiction

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — When it comes to battling addiction, communities are looking for new ways to beat the disease. A garden planted at The Healing Place’s Women’s Campus is doing just that by offering growth in recovery through the plants.

For Erica Strane, the garden brings back fond memories of her childhood. “I used to love being in the tomato garden with my mom,” said Strane.

It’s not just squash and tomatoes growing in this garden. “I ran the streets. I didn’t take care of my children and was consumed by alcohol and drugs,” said Strane, who is part of the long-term program at the Healing Place, an addiction recovery center in downtown Louisville.

“My sister brought me here. The family kind of forced me here,” said Strane.

Once at the Louisville facility, Strane discovered the garden, which is tended to by the women at The Healing Place under the guidance of Bethany Pratt with the University of Kentucky Extension Cooperative Service.

“Horticulture is a proven therapy technique and certainly here at the Healing Place you can see the enjoyment everyone has here,” said Pratt.

Every day, the women head to the raised beds and green house to see how their hard work is paying off.

“If I have a bad day I can come out here and take a look at everything that’s growing around and say it’s going to be okay,” said Jessica Powell, who is in recovery.

The vegetables, fruit and flowers in bloom help the women cultivate relationships, relying on others for help, by working as a team.

“The things that you plant out here, they’re like little accomplishments that you accomplish every day,” said Leandra Henry, who is in recovery. “I’m not so much thinking that I’m independent. I actually ask for help now.”

The plot of land welcomes amateur and expert gardeners who are trying new things.

“Because if you can try a lima bean that’s a little scary, maybe you can try something else that’s a little bit more important than a lima bean,” said Pratt.

Like the women here, the garden has…

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