Growing Together/Feeding the World

-- One Person at a Time

Agrium grant2



Perry Wellness Center has frequently used gardening as a tool to help our peers cope with and recover from mental illness and substance abuse. After all, researchers have found that gardening can significantly reduce stress and boost mood, encourage creative expression, and even promote overall brain health.

Each year the gardens and greenhouses on our growing campus have expanded, as peers embrace the garden experience and customers at the center’s Happy Patch Market look for fresh produce.This past summer several peer clients were even growing tomato plants in buckets at their homes, as gardening became a part of their at-home wellness programs.

After experiences such as these, staff came up with the idea of creating a community garden of raised bed gardens on campus. Peers could be taught to plant and harvest their own crops – an activity that would help cultivate both nutritional food and a healthful hobby.

To support the new project, application was made for a grant from Agrium, Inc.’s “Growing Together/Feed the World” community program. Agrium is a major retail supplier of agricultural products in North America, South America, and Australia, and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients.

Results were successful, and officials from the local Agrium Wholesale Granulation Plant in Americus recentlypresented a check for the new project. But the local business’ involvement promises to be more than financial. Agrium representatives will also work closely with us by providing their expertise, education and physical labor as a part of the grant. They will help teach and assist interested peers with bed preparation, planting of their gardens, and proper fertilization, watering, and harvesting of the produce. Pest control, composting and growing of year- round crops will be practiced.

“We are so excited about what this program means for our peers,”said Phyllis Smith, who is the contact person on the Agrium project and our whole-health coach. “Most of our clients have never had a garden of their own. Having their own garden plots will give them a sense of ownership and enhance their self-esteem.” Phyllis believes that the project will also enhance peers’ sense of community, as they work side by side to grow their produce.

Another positive aspect of this project is that it will fit in extremely well with our new Whole Health Action Management (W.H.A.M.) initiative. This program promotes self-management of behavioral health problems and helps peers set personal recovery goals and strategies – which often relate to positive methods of reducing stress.

Stuart Perry, for one, is enthusiastic about the Growing Together/Feeding the World project and looks forward to working with yet another local business to promote wellness. Notes Stuart, “We appreciate this opportunity to ‘grow together’ with Agrium as we ‘feed the world’ one person at a time.”

Thanks, Agrium, for being a great neighbor and partner in our community!

"Spring Has Sprung" at Market

Spring market2If you haven’t driven by our market and campus lately, please do so! The colors of spring are in full bloom, and the market is filled with a variety of potted plants and hanging baskets. We have also added small trees, such as dogwood and maple, to our inventory.

“Happy Patch Market is a bright a welcoming place,” agrees PWC founder Stuart Perry.

To celebrate the season, we’re offering a “Spring Has Sprung” special at the market. In selected plants throughout the market area, five (5) markers have been placed. If you bring a plant to our market desk, we will let you know if you have won a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE that can be used with hanging baskets, potted plants, or produce.

Our special began yesterday, so hurry down to see if you can find one of the remaining markers!

In the photo above, James, Rhonda, and Kenneth display some of the latest market offerings.

James Goss Demonstrates Market Cheer & Dedication

RepottingAs the weather continues to warm up, colorful hanging baskets and ferns are filling up the greenhouses and lots on our campus. We’re now in the process of re-potting plants that have outgrown their current pots or dividing and transplanting others. Our display and hanging spaces in our four greenhouses will soon be at capacity.

James Goss, a long-time peer at Perry Wellness Center, serves as a clerk at our market. His duties also include re-potting plants, which makes for busy spring days. James does not allow his partial reliance upon a mobile walker or wheelchair to slow him down, as he greets customers or mans his work station.

To enjoy warmer temperatures, James has found an arbor space near the market, where he greets customers as they arrive. Nearby lie the tools for his re-potting tasks, which include re-potting Verbena and ferns.

James’ dual mission is to share a smile with each customer and to re-pot a greater number of plants each day. Next time you’re at the market, see for yourself!

Edward Thomas Is Forceful Wellness Advocate

Edward Thomas2A long-time peer at Perry Wellness Center, Edward Thomas likes to point out that he has been a witness to Stuart Perry’s growth since the PWC founder first worked at Breezeway, a local mental health day treatment program.

“I have been with Stuart for many years and appreciate his efforts for mental health wellness and substance abuse,” the enthusiastic peer member says.

Edward – or ET, as he is known by peers and staff, has learned a spirit of dedication from this association, and it is one he applies to everything from peer support to health and wellness. Regarding the former, Stuart Perry points out that ET takes a direct approach to confronting peer problems at the center.

“We are peer-run at Perry Wellness Center, and many here can create situations that can cause problems for both them and me,” Stuart notes with a smile. ET has helped him deal with some difficult situations, although Stuart acknowledges that ET can be very critical at times. However, his candor is appreciated and respected by most at the center.

Lately, ET is applying his direct approach to his own program of personal health and wellness. For example, he supports recent healthful changes to the cafeteria menu at the center and encourages other peers and staff to “unite as a family” for better health, weight loss, and general wellness.

This week, Thomas was spotted hard at work on his personal exercise program. The new exercise regimen includes a vigorous workout on the elliptical machines, conveniently located on the overhanging porch of the classroom building. Rain or shine, ET is prepared to do his part for better health – and forcefully encourage others to do the same!

Product Display Is Vital Market Activity

Product displayAs anyone who has ever worked in a store knows, keeping the merchandise stocked and well displayed is an important part of ultimately making sales. Rudy’s Happy Patch Market is no different. Six days a week, market preparations take place before any sales. As the gates are unlocked, peers quickly attend to daily routines on campus at and around the market. Everything from the grounds to the display bins are checked and prepared for another market day.

One peer who takes particular pride in his work is Mr. Willie, as he is known by both peers and staff. Each day he opens the market cooler and loads display bins with fresh produce. He checks all fruits and vegetables to make sure they aren’t overripe or damaged, before being satisfied that the market is ready.

Market staff team member Mulkey McMichael appreciates the extra effort:

"Mr. Willie is eager to check and display the growing inventory of fruit and vegetables at Happy Patch Market,” Mulkey notes. “He is also keenly aware of products that may display spoilage and removes these from the displays. I can depend on him for the best of display preparation."

In the photo, Mr. Willie sets out fresh bananas before he begins his morning market check of fruit and vegetable merchandise.

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  1. "Knock Out" Roses Fill Happy Patch Market
  2. Seasoned Firewood Available at Discount
  3. Spring Plant Care in Full Swing
  4. Getting Steamed at PWC
  5. Last Pecans of Season Available at Market
  6. Spring Cleaning Takes on New Meaning
  7. Chris Wheeler Joins Market Team
  8. New "European-Style" Greenhouse Nears Completion
  9. Creative Successes Continue at PWC
  10. Spring Brings Color and Market Specials
  11. Sunny Days Promote Outdoor Learning at PWC
  12. PWC Rolls Out Clean Welcome Mat
  13. Crisis Intervention Team Enjoys Campus Visit
  14. Mental Health Moment: Postpartum Depression
  15. Mentoring: Tech-Savvy Peer Makes Strides
  16. A Fond Farewell to Winter Gardening
  17. Artist Jeff Williams Promotes Creative Mentorship at PWC
  18. Pam Perry Involved in Leadership of WHAM Program
  19. Adventist Community Services Continues Food Deliveries
  20. Late Winter Market Blossoms
  21. Art Education, Mentorship Expand
  22. Valentine's Gala Promotes Partnership and Celebration
  23. Creative Display Boards Brighten Campus
  24. Peers & Staff Share Learning & Teaching
  25. Loomwork Creativity on Display
  26. "Peers Helping Peers" Is Heart of PWC
  27. PWC Kitchen Staff Expands
  28. WHAM Participants Enjoy Winter Exercise
  29. Glass Greenhouse to Brighten PWC Campus
  30. Peers Display Unique Creative Designs
  31. Scent of Cedar Fills the Air at PWC
  32. Firewood Is Latest Winter Market Item
  33. January Is Mental Wellness Month
  34. Market Still Vibrant in Winter
  35. Market Begins Early Preparations for Spring
  36. Runner Undertakes His Own Journey for Mental Health
  37. It's Addiction Recovery Awareness Day
  38. A YARN Worth Telling
  39. Resolutions and Risk Reduction: Top Six Actions for Better Health
  40. PWC Plans for New Year
  41. Peers Receive Holiday Food Bags
  42. Tips for a Healthier You in 2014
  43. Perfect Attendance Rewarded
  44. Festive Christmas Lunch Enjoyed at PWC
  45. Americus Civitans Bring Christmas Spirit
  46. Christmas Celebrations Fill Day and Night at PWC
  47. Cheer Up the Blues Almost Here!
  48. Peer Mentoring Brings Special Holiday Gift
  49. Peer Spotlight: Laurie Hildreth
  50. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
  51. PWC Hosts RESPECT Seminar
  52. Re-TREE-ving Lives Is Unique Christmas Parade Theme
  53. Seasonal Food Bags Bring Holiday Cheer
  54. Holiday Season Includes Fun & Learning
  55. Dressing for the Occasion
  56. A Thanksgiving Wish
  57. Peer Spotlight: Bible on Parade
  58. Healthy & Delicious: Fuyu Persimmons
  59. Healthy Eating Vital to Wellness and Recovery
  60. A Lesson in Pumpkin-Craft
  61. Group Attends Georgia Peer Support Institute
  62. Striking Back Against Hunger
  63. Community Spotlight: Johnny Shiver Provides Unique Support
  64. Georgia Advocate Shares Personal Story
  65. Peer Spotlight: Essie Fulks
  66. Wanda Liles Makes Wishes Come True
  67. PWC Celebrates Spirit Week
  68. Stigma Can Be Scary
  69. A Tale of Two Walks: Minister and Mental Health Advocate Meet
  70. PWC Participates in Farm to Fork Gala
  71. "Skeleton" Crews Learns Life Skills
  72. PWC Participates in Andersonville Fair
  73. October Is Mental Illness Awareness Month
  74. Treadmill Record Set at Center
  75. The Scarecrows Are Here!
  76. Getting Ready for Autumn Fires
  77. Peer Spotlight: Javin Baker
  78. Birthdays Are Special at PWC
  79. Clothes Closet Provides Assistance to Peers
  80. PWC Weekly Schedule Requires Advance Planning
  81. Fall Exercise at PWC
  82. Water, Water Everywhere!
  83. Promoting Your Child's Mental Health
  84. September Is for Celebrating Recovery
  85. Peer Provides Lesson in Integrity
  86. National Suicide Prevention Week Is Here
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  91. Peer Spotlight: Artist at Work
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  93. Media Matters: Sharing the Journey
  94. Pulling Our Weight with Fitness Program
  95. James Goss Achieves Educational Goal
  96. Lions Club and Peers Provide Mutual Support
  97. Koi Pond Enhances Peaceful Campus
  98. Visitors Provide Time for Sharing
  99. Wellness Walk Helps Keep the Pace
  100. Jeff Williams Recognized for Community Contributions
  101. Crisis Intervention Team Trainees Visit Campus
  102. Peers Attend RESPECT Institute Seminar
  103. PWC Traces Its Roots
  104. Rudy Hayes Visits PWC
  105. Creativity Corner
  106. Peer Shows Leadership in Learning & Teaching Reading Skills
  107. "First Couple" of PWC Celebrates Anniversary
  108. Summer Barbecue: Thanks to Civitans!
  109. Book Loving Peer Teaches Life Lesson
  110. Giving Back Part of Recovery
  111. Peacemakers Campers Tour PWC
  112. Happy Fourth of July!
  113. First Methodist Youth Group Visits Center
  114. Shelling Out Summer Produce
  115. Mealtimes: Finding the Right Balance
  116. The Art of Creative Expression
  117. Flower Tower Power
  118. Peer Member Reflects on Early Years -- Part III
  119. Peer Member Reflects on Early Years -- Part II
  120. Peer Member Reflects on Early Years at PWC
  121. PWC Peer Pays It Forward as Reading Tutor
  122. Watermelon Salsa!
  123. Summer's Finest Fruit Is Here!
  124. Men Are Creative, Too!
  125. Customer Service Part of PWC Market Outreach
  126. Local Nursing Students Visit PWC
  127. 7 Tips for Reducing Stress
  128. Albany CSB Group Tours Campus
  129. Time for Tomatoes
  130. Great Taste, Low Costs, Good Nutrition -- It's Breakfast at PWC!
  131. Gideons Share Bibles with Peers
  132. Mental Health Month Daily Tip
  133. Peer's Spring Planting Teaches Lesson in Recovery
  134. "Peers Helping Peers" in Action
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  136. PWC Welcomes New Horizons Staff
  137. Pathways to Wellness: A Healthy Diet
  138. Community Event Draws Visitors to Market
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  140. New Flower Towers Grace Hope Park
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  142. All in the Family: Peer Profile
  143. Creativity Blooms Alongside Plants at Market
  144. Double Trouble Offers Double the Support
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  152. Monitoring Progress through Documentation
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  157. WHAM Program Brings New Opportunities
  158. Fighting Germs at PWC
  159. Hangin' in the Greenhouse
  160. Teens and Addiction - New Links
  161. Greenhouse Prep Work in Progress
  162. Spring Preparations Continue
  163. Spring Greens on the Way
  164. Males and Eating Disorders
  165. Take Action to Stop Eating Disorders
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  167. Puzzle Pieces and Knitting Needles Make for Creative Partnerships
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  230. Hog Wild for Fitness
  231. An A+ for Effort
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  279. Welcome to The Peer Post


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Wellness Center Hours

Monday-Friday 7:30 to 3

Happy Patch Market Hours

Mon-Fri 9 to 6 | Sat 7-4

Around PWC

Perry Wellness Center | 302 E. Furlow St., Americus, GA 31709 map | 229-924-2430 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.