BOOTS2ROOTS: A Horticulture Peer Support Group
1st Community Female Veteran Horticulture Peer Support Group in the United States
The BOOTS2ROOTS Project consists of championing for the empowerment of disabled women Veterans by building their capacities and competencies. This holistic approach will allow these Sheroes to rebuild their ability to connect with themselves and others through community gardening. The group will equip them with the necessary skills to grow their own produce. Each group session consists of a variety of outdoor activities: gardening, either standing or sitting, sowing seeds, trimming and harvesting herbs for cooking, transplanting seedlings and learning new plant-care skills. Time is reserved for creative projects such as planting a container garden and arranging a take-home bouquet. Each day includes lunch and time for peer reflection.
Access to healthy and affordable food is a problem in many communities in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 11.5 million people in the United States live in low-income areas that are more than 1 mile away from a supermarket or grocery chain that sells fresh produce at an affordable price (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009). These urban communities, called “food deserts,” most prominently affect residents of rural, low income, and minority communities (Larson, Story, & Nelson, 2009).
2024 GROUP INFORMATION (Female Veterans Only)
Session Dates: TBA
-Female Veterans ONLY in the Piedmont Triad and surrounding area, North Carolina
-Free of cost to participants (includes a gardening toolkit and free vegetable access).
-Group size is limited.
Poor dietary patterns lead to a high risk of obesity and other diet-related diseases, which are experienced at higher rates by individuals from low income households and ethnic minorities (Besthorn, 2013; Conway & Lassiter, 2011; Larsen & Gilliland, 2009; Larson et al., 2009; Valera, Gallin, Schuk, & Davis, 2009).
A viable means of bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to the tables of residents of low income areas is the creation of a community garden. Individuals who garden have been shown to have healthier habits than those who do not garden and community gardens are opportunities for people to foster healthy behaviors (Litt et al., 2011).