Healing Power of Gardening

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Boulder Crest Retreat, a wellness center for veterans, provides healing through gardening and other activities.
Air Date: 8/17/16
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Julia Falke
Julia-FalkeBoulder Crest Retreat is the vision of Ken Falke and his wife Julia. Ken was seriously wounded in 1989 while serving as a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician and Master Chief Petty Officer. Ken is a 21-year combat Service-Disabled Veteran and the Founder and Chairman of the EOD Warrior Foundation. While visiting many of the wounded EOD warriors and their families since the start of the wars in the Middle East, the Falkes witnessed firsthand the desolation and frustration they experienced while spending time in inpatient and long-term care outpatient units in the Washington, D.C. area.

Ken and Julia began their warrior care work by bringing wounded EOD warriors and their families for meals and short stays at their home. This support of their fellow warriors inspired the Falkes to make a lasting and sustained commitment with the building of Boulder Crest Retreat, which included the donation of 37 acres of their property as well as a substantial initial contribution to establish Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation. The Retreat was incorporated in July 2010 and received is 501(c)(3) certification in February 2011.

Boulder Crest is open to all combat veterans and their family members, including Gold Star families.
Healing Power of Gardening
Boulder Crest Retreat is the nation's first privately-funded rural wellness center dedicated exclusively to our nation's combat veterans and their families.

The organization is committed to improving the physical, emotional, spiritual and economic well-being of this remarkable community of heroes, and ensuring they have the opportunity to succeed in their new mission -- a life of passion, purpose and service -- here at home.

One of the ways Boulder Crest provides healing is through gardening.

Veterans and their family members are able to walk the grounds, get their hands dirty, pick fresh produce, or even just reflect and meditate.

For some families, this is the first time they've been able to pick food fresh from the garden. 

All cabins are equipped with a kitchen so they can cook what they've just harvested. There is also a chef on staff who is able to help with questions, recipe ideas, etc. 

The retreat has had people come from as far as Hawaii and Alaska. Other independent organizations often donate frequent flier miles. 

There are also a variety of activities available, including kayaking, fly fishing, equine therapy, trail walking, horticulture therapy, and a rock wall for those who are physically able. 

The community has been incredibly supportive of the mission of Boulder Crest.

Julia Falke, who created Boulder Crest Retreat with her husband, Ken, joins Andrea and Lisa to share more about the organization and the great work its doing for our veterans.