Garden helps women plant seeds for a better future

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - April showers have brought May flowers for the women at Bethel Village.

The center's gardening program helps in the recovery of women at the center by planting seeds for a better future.

The Panama City Rescue Mission runs Bethel Village and offers a 12 to 14 month program for women struggling with substance abuse. The University of Florida's Bay County IFAS extension supports the gardening program.

With their help, the women grow fruits and vegetables they use to prepare food at the village.

The women say the experience is one-of-a-kind.

"For me it's been a little bit therapeutic. It's kind of like something that we can look forward to, we learn something new and we get to get out of the house and do something different," said Aiana Garland, who is in the program. "For most of us , I know I had no experience gardening. It's something that's brand new, so it's fun and it's fresh and it teaches us a skill that we can use later in life."

If you'd like to put some roots down in your own yard or volunteer, you can contact the Bay County UF IFAS Extension office for more information at (850) 784-6105 or visit their website.

The extension office will also be hosting an open house Thursday, May 4th from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.