…we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond. – Gwendolyn Brooks

This quotation summarizes many of GHI’s beliefs – that not only should we invest in each other’s well being, but that we must because, in the end, we determine each other’s success. Each individual’s well being depends on every other person’s health and happiness.

Since we have only been here a week, I am hesitant to pretend to understand exactly what Gardens for Health holds as its very core beliefs, but just from the time Kat, Gina and I have spent here, it is apparent that family, community and togetherness are key to GHI’s operations.
Every day, GHI feeds all of its staff members—farm hands and their children and office staff—during a communal lunch. For many of GHI’s farm workers, lunch represents the only solid meal they will eat during the day, so GHI strives to provide sufficient quantity and nutrition in one meal. These communal lunches represent much more than an investment for GHI in its workers – they represent the care and dignity with which GHI treats all of its employees, as if they were family.

It seems that everyone who passes through GHI’s doors becomes permanently a part of GHI’s family. This philosophy and manner of operating are not part of GHI’s programmatic planning nor can GHI directly profit from creating such a wonderful extended family. The warmth that

all GHI staffers show each other, however, is highly motivating and instills in GHI a lasting sense of togetherness.

Last week, with Brad and Johan’s departure, the whole community came together to throw them a farewell party. We shared food and laughter and only after did I realize how exciting it is to feel connected to such a strong community, one in which every person is working towards the same goal, in which good will and appreciation are abundant. To be so quickly accepted into this place made our transition seamless – and we could not be more thankful.