If you have ever gardened successfully you know the joy of planting seeds, watching them sprout and grow into plants. You have enjoyed watching flowers bloom and metamorphosis into food. You may have eaten the food or put it by for storage for the future. This cycle, as old as our planet, nourishes our bodies and souls.
Victory Gardeners believe that working with the soil and growing food is good for you. We know it feeds us, but it also brings about serenity and the confidence of self reliance. Having the skills to grow food in a sustainable practice, that respects the soil while providing bounty for your family is very empowering.
Yet our personal experiences are not our only motivation for this philanthropic focus. We follow in the footsteps of the founding family of the heritage tomato, the Ivan. The farm where the Ivan was grown, for the last several generations, has been a true center for agricultural therapy. They did not call it agricultural therapy of course. They just called it good, clean hard work.
Their seed start business started with a greenhouse that was a present from the daughters to their father. The father was a Vietnam Vet that suffered from PTSD and was recovering from a major stroke. Through the energy in the plants and working with the soil, he regained his strength, balance and health. Together the family ran the business for 26 years. Over the years many people joined them in pursuit of rehabilitation, volunteering on the farm and sharing in power of gardening. Sometimes the people had were suffering from stress related illnesses, while other times they were recovering from crisis of heart and soul. They were always welcome as long as they embraced the farming life.
The family is no longer doing commercial farming, however the descendants are still working with agricultural therapy transitioning the farm into a center of healing and community. We were so moved by these efforts that we decided to help them continue the tradition by donating 10% of our proceeds, from the Ivan Tomato Rescue Project, to support causes of therapeutic gardening. We hope to support programs like this that help heal body, soul and planet.