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By Alicia Sparks
Midweek Mental Greening
Although I don’t live near it anymore, one of the things I love about my old city’s community mental health center is the center’s greenhouse. The center’s patients, or clients, grow and sell the flowers, ferns, and other plants within the greenhouse and any money raised goes toward the continuing operation of the center’s various programs.
I don’t have any firsthand experience with the center’s greenhouse (although I do keep promising myself to stop in the next time I’m in the city), but I’ve heard great things about it. Of course, that’s not surprising. We already know how mentally and emotionally beneficial activities like gardening can be (and if you need a refresher course, check out Thrive’s Carry on Gardening website , including the group’s Harnessing the Mood-Boosting Power of Gardening leaflet).
I’ve seen and read about numerous other projects similar to the one my former city’s community mental health center runs. Some mental health centers operate greenhouses packed with flowers, ferns, and other plants while others, like Anderson, Indiana’s Center for Mental Health’s community-supported agriculture farm (which, incidentally, was just awarded the 2009 Award of Excellence in Community Collaboration by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas) manage vegetable gardens.
My point is this isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s one that’s spreading across the world, and for good reason.
What is new, however (well, to me anyway) is a new study from England’s University of Bristol and University College London. According to Medical News Today :
PMA Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition 2015 - Produce Marketing Association
Dates: 10/23/2015 – 10/25/2015
The Produce Marketing Association is the leading global trade association serving the entire produce and floral supply chains by enhancing the marketing of produce, floral, and related products and services worldwide. PMA members are buyers and sellers from every segment of the produce and floral supply chain.Fresh Summit is large, well-attended, informative and exciting. Which makes it, in a word, efficient. It draws decision makers from every sector of the supply chain to one location, offering one of the best opportunities you’ll have all year to make an impression on the people you need to know most.Year after year, more than 18,500 attendees and 900+ exhibitors from 50 countries come together for three days of networking, innovation, visibility and deal making at Fresh Summit. As an exhibitor, you’ll get all the tools you’ll need to leverage the contacts you make at Fresh Summit throughout the year. If you want to showcase your company and truly connect with the produce and floral supply chain, exhibiting at Fresh Summit is the way.It's your once-a-year opportunity to:Launch new products and servicesIncrease company visibilityCome face-to-face with key buyersGather intelligence for benchmarking and new product developmentExtend your reach into new markets around the globeWhat Fresh Summit Buyers Want to See:Fresh fruits and vegetables (domestic & imported)Fresh-cut/Value-addedOrganic ProduceFloral Products and ServicesProcessed Produce ItemsPackaging Materials and ServicesPackaging/Sorting/Sizing EquipmentMerchandising/Display EquipmentDried Fruit and NutsTransportation ServicesLabeling/Pricing SystemsFresh HerbsSalad Dressing and SaucesWhom Fresh Summit Buyers Want to Meet:Grower-shippers and processors of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, fresh-cut and value-added commodities, and organic and natural foodsSuppliers and manufacturers of packaging, equipment, labeling, transportation, merchandising, and technology servicesRepresentatives from