From head to hands
Army veteran encourages others to garden for therapy
NATURE is therapy for the soul... at least that’s what this army veteran believes.
Nick Brooke served in the Royal Australian Infantry for seven years, and after being medically dismissed he endeavoured to find a hobby to help him “get out of his head and into his hands”.
“When I left, I went through a huge identity crisis, so I wanted to look towards more holistic approaches,” he said.
The father of one found his calling in gardening and has dedicated his spare time to the community garden at The Farm in Meridan Plains.
“I’ve always liked gardening. As a teenager I used to mow lawns for money instead of getting a job at McDonald’s,” he said.
“For me, the biggest thing is that sense of community and the relationships you make. It’s therapeutic.”
Nick said he noticed a detachment between the military and the community and wanted to encourage other veterans to engage in one way or another.
“There’s a lot of soul searching transferring back into the community. It’s easy to fall into our safety net,” he said.
“But I don’t want to tell people what to do or how to do it, I’d rather show it and lead by example.”
The Farm owners Rashi and Alex Cottrell said their mission was to help shape the lives of their community.
“We’re tapping into a lot of different communities, which is a vision of the farm,” Mrs Cottrell said.
On Sunday, The Farm held its first working bee to prepare land ready for the community garden.
“It’s been one of our visions for a long time. We’re glad that Nick can find solace in helping us out as well.”
GOOD FOR THE SOUL: Army veteran Nick Brooke uses gardening as his therapy. His latest project is helping The Farm at Meridan Plains start a community garden.