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Teenagers using gardening to get over drug dependency

Teenagers who have suffered with substance abuse are being shown how gardening can help them to rebuild their lives.

At the Camp Recovery Center 's Meadow Lodge in Scotts Valley, California, parents donate a plant in recognition of their teen's work during drug rehab, which their child plants in the Parent Appreciation Garden .

Meanwhile, the kids volunteer to plant, cultivate and harvest all sorts of fruits, vegetables and herbs and learn about the process as part of the academic curriculum.

"The garden gives parents the opportunity to show appreciation for their child and gives the adolescents a chance to leave behind a piece of themselves for future residents to enjoy," case manager Wendy Nolen remarked. "Our hope is that this concept of giving back will continue to guide them through their recovery."

Instead of using chemical fertilizers, the teens learn about organic gardening and translate this lesson into their own recovery from chemical dependence.

When mealtime comes, they then have the opportunity to taste their freshly picked produce.

"The gardening project gives our adolescent clients a positive way to be part of building something up rather than tearing it down," program director Jeff Geiger commented.