Planting Wellness is simultaneously an ideal and the name of an annual community event created by The Allie Sunshine Project. Planting Wellness has grown directly from the seeds of our core purpose: to ignite learning and wellness. Seven years ago, when we were looking for ways to support and connect with our community, our Visionary Director Jeremy Hayes knew his greenhouse customer Seacliff Farms had extra flowers and vegetables destined for the dumpster, and reached out for a donation. Seacliff’s response was an incredibly generous offer to grow a custom order for The Allie Sunshine Project . They donated roughly 15,000 vegetable and bedding plants that year, and in every year since Seacliff Farms’ continued generous donations have allowed The Allie Sunshine Project to host a plant giveaway offering free vegetable transplants to school, community, backyard and patio gardeners. We cannot express our full gratitude for the unique opportunity we have with Seacliff Farms to help enrich our community in such a positive way. Gardening and interacting with nature has not only been a crucial part of learning and healing among members in our organization, but year after year we see and hear true testimony about the impact that our Planting Wellness giveaway has on the returning customers in our community.
The Allie Sunshine Project strives to provide what plants already do so well: the opportunity for connection, nourishment, self-discovery, spiritual wellness, physical vitality, inspiration, education, and contemplation. For most if not all of us, when we are hungry we purchase food that is already picked, cut, tossed, washed, sliced, diced, mixed and prepared-eliminating such a rewarding chance to truly connect with the growing process of what is providing for our bodies, minds, and spirits. It is far from consuming the finished product that we reap all the benefits of our food. Gardening is a powerful form of self-care that allows a door to open into a journey of love for the world you live in. In addition, many of our recurring customers grow more than they will ever eat themselves and end up sharing the fruits of their labors, which spreads that life energy at no cost and no loss to their own cultivation. The Allie Sunshine Project is an organization deeply interconnected with nature and is constantly learning, growing and healing from our interactions with it, and this is what we hope to share with our community through our Planting Wellness event.
Over time, the vision of Planting Wellness has broadened to include wellness practitioners and seekers to provide an even more enriching experience so our community members can walk the path of personal wellness through every vessel of opportunity there is. David Broad, local masseur and reiki master, shared his vision of inviting wellness practitioners into the Healing Garden during the Planting Wellness Event. This allowed for a connection with our network of wellness providers, and an introduction of their unique offerings to our audience of wellness explorers. Year after year, our community members are eager to follow the “path to wellness” into the Healing Garden, sign up for a wellness passport, and visit each wellness practitioner to have their passport stamped for the draw of a Wellness Gift basket. The wellness providers have offered a variety of products, demonstrations, and information designed to promote healthy living. Our Wellness Fair has been such an incredible opportunity to deepen our relationships with these amazing practitioners and simultaneously give them a stage to share their knowledge and experience of learning and wellness with our community.
The Allie Sunshine Project hopes our Planting Wellness event will continue to be an all-encompassing map to as many roads of personal wellness as possible, discovering your love for gardening and connecting with your community along the way.