All over the globe Vegepods are being used to enrich communities who may be facing a variety of complex challenges. Edible gardening, and indeed any gardening, is not only ubiquitous in private homes, but also enjoyed by many of these community groups where the healing power of gardening has proven undeniable.
We recently have worked closely with and visited the Warrah Society, a not-for-profit organisation that offers extensive support for adults and children with disabilities in Sydney, Australia. This week, Vegepod has partnered with Warrah to extend their social enterprise model to include selling Vegepods at their farm shop.
Back in July of 2020, a Stockland CARE grant enabled Warrah to introduce a therapeutic gardening initiative for their senior residents. The goal is to provide the many health and wellness benefits of gardening, a particularly important initiative during these pandemic times. Warrah's Senior Coordinator of Therapeutic Gardening said he is pleased with how well the residents have received and engaged with the new garden program, and he intends to roll out the initiative in Warrah’s other supported independent living homes in the area. He said the first two large pods, which were set up in a sunny location for residents to enjoy, have facilitated "social interaction and an opportunity for gentle exercise outdoors. They also produce a range of fresh organic herbs and vegetables for shared meals."
Warrah also runs a biodynamic farm and farm shop where they have recently purchased additional Vegepods. Operating as a social enterprise, all profits from the Farm Shop go towards Warrah’s disability services. Although not a typical retail stockist, our partnership means Vegepods are sold at the farm shop to make profit and further contribute to their services.
Warrah's Farm Manager Rob Greatholder, with Pete from Vegepod setting up the demo Vegepod ready to sell!
The farm and shop engages people with disability through volunteering and work experience. Activities include bagging salad mix and dry goods, weighing fruit and vegetables, packing coop boxes, loading the delivery van and assisting with deliveries. These opportunities provide Warrah Specialist School students and clients the opportunity to be actively engaged and productive participants in their social enterprise.
Co-Owner Simon with Cindy Community Development Manager at Warrah, and Debbie from the Warrah Farm Shop.
The Executive Manager Disability Services from Warrah said, "Being able to install two Vegepods to grow herbs and vegetables has provided real benefits for our residents with various physical and intellectual disabilities. The accessible Vegepods have enabled our residents who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids to engage in the set up and care of the new gardens with fellow residents." Their ultimate goal is having two pods at each of their five group supported independent living homes.
Seeing and understanding how Vegepods are being used to better individuals’ lives is really what makes our work here at Vegepod worthwhile. Rob and Cindy from Warrah are part of the team who have really pushed for this fantastic ‘Cultivating for Wellbeing’ program, and we had a wonderful time a couple of weeks ago meeting the Warrah team and their residents. If you live in Sydney, or are in Dural, do check out and support this incredible social enterprise.