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Apr 1, 2019

This episode of Harrowsmith Radio is all about gardens and their value to our minds, bodies, spirits and communities.

First up, I speak with Mitchell Hewson, a veteran horticultural therapist who use the growth, resilience and hope of renewal that gardens offer as a balm on the troubled minds and bodies of those in need of rebirth. Next, I catch up with Heather Phaneuf, who fills us in on how to start a community garden in a lot near you. 

Mitchell Hewson

Horitcultural Therapy is used as a treatment tool to develop a relationship with clients to improve their cognitive, social, behavioural and spiritual well being. At institutions like the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, Ontario, it encourage clients to engage in the natural world. Mitchell Hewson started the horticultural therapy program at Homewood. Now retired, he continues to teach his discipline online to students around the world. He encourages his students to help their clients think about new ways of life and self-care, offer them rehabilitation and acquire new skills, a sense of dignity and hope. I spoke with him about his lifelong passion for using plants to health the deepest wounds.   

Heather Phaneuf

But, sometimes gardens can not only heal individuals, they can also improve the health of a whole community. Harrowsmith magazine contributor Heather Phaneuf discovered that as you researched community gardens for the Spring issue of the magazine. She offers some advice about how and why you should start a community garden. And, how you can be a good garden citizen should you plant your seeds in shared soil.                  

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read stories by Jane and Rob in the Winter issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It's on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at


By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast,  David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,