Blooms and Blossoms

 

 

 

 

Spring has sprung and birds, butterflies and bees are combing the area looking for plants and flowers to pollinate.  They don’t have to look far!  A new horticultural program at Career Opportunity Development, Inc. (CODI) is in full swing at 901 Atlantic Ave in Egg Harbor City.

Consumers receiving Adult Training Services are fully involved in gardening.  A new greenhouse provides protection and a warm environment for seeds to grow and seedlings to develop into full-grown plants and flowers.  Thanks to the generosity of Joe’s Market in Galloway Township, our gazebo is adorned with hanging plants, azaleas and lilies.  The vegetable garden is flourishing and producing a wonderful variety of vegetables.  There is a spice garden containing basil, thyme, parsley and many other spices.  Spices will be used to garnish salads and side dishes prepared by consumers in CODI’s food service training program.  Watching a seed grow into a seedling and then a full-grown plant or vine producing crops is truly amazing.

What is even more amazing is watching the consumers grow as well!  As the flowers bloom the caretakers are blossoming.  There is increasing engagement in caring for the gardens.  Those who have rarely interacted with others or even their environment have “come to life” as they care for the gardens.  One can see the tender care and concern shown toward the plants.  There is pure joy evident as consumers watch beans develop and cucumbers expand on the vines.  From some individuals, we see more smiles, greater participation and increasing interaction.  Excitement abounds as consumers pick vegetables and use them in salads drizzled with homemade dressing.

The future is bright as plans include adding a variety of gardens to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Fruit trees will be planted and having a greenhouse extends the growing season for plants that bloom in other seasons of the year.  The horticultural program has not only brought us the beauty of nature but the thrill of reaching participants in a new and wonderful way.

 It takes continued funding and support from state and federal officials to operate programs like these.  We encourage you to support bills and laws that allow programs to provide services for individuals with disabilities. 

We thank you for your support!

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

It has been a true pleasure seeing the pride shown by ATS program participants when selling vegetables and herbs they have nurtured and grown in our CODI Garden.  My purchases have been especially meaningful as I see firsthand the hard work and commitment that has gone into production.

Also, this past week, baked goods, prepared by ATS consumers were well received not to mention delicious.  It is obvious program participants enjoy both of these activities and are excited to describe their participation in the ATS program.

Please pass my congratulations and appreciation on to all for a job well done.  Clearly, it is not merely vegetables that are growing throughout CODI !!!!

Linda Carney
CODI - President/CEO