Spring has officially arrived and Mother’s Day is around the corner. That means it’s time for the CT Valley Greenhouse Sale, scheduled to begin April 27, 2017 on the grounds of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.
This event is a wonderful an opportunity to choose from a beautiful array of flowers, plants and hanging baskets. It’s the result of a year-round, garden-to-table program spearheaded by vocational-rehabilitation counselors who are members of our AFSCME Local 2663 (P-2 Human & Social Services Bargaining Unit).
“Our patients develop skills that will help them transition back into their communities,” said Paul Bellantuono, a voc-rehab counselor and union steward for AFSCME Local 2663, which represents 2,500 members in our P-2 Social and Human Services Bargaining Unit.
For several years, CVH counselors have instructed patients how to plant and harvest flowers, vegetables and more at the greenhouses located on the campus of CVH, where people receive specialized treatment for people dealing with psychiatric disabilities, addiction and more.
In addition to plants and flowers, CVH greenhouse workers grow a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, green beans and peppers that help stock the local Soup Kitchen in Middletown.
CVH holds four seasonal sales a year, with all proceeds benefiting their patient activity fund, which supports recreational, therapeutic and educational activities.
“Every penny of this project goes back into helping the patients, while saving taxpayer dollars” said Local 2663 President MaryBeth Hill. “I commend our members for making it happen and making a difference in the community.”
Bellantuono said the CVH greenhouse program has not only engendered pride within the facility, it’s become a vehicle to support the local economy, including the many small companies that sell plant and vegetable seeds, and related gardening supplies, to CVH.
The CVH Greenhouse Sale begins April 27, 2017 and is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., until items are sold out. The greenhouse grounds are located at 11 Flood St. in Middletown, at the base of the CVH campus. For more information call (860) 262-6700.