Horticulture Program

The Program:

The Garden Therapy Program of Evergreen Elm, located at River and Elm Streets in Bradford, PA began in the summer of 1990. The first planting was on a piece of property donated for use by Mrs. Rosalie Salerno. She has since given the land to Evergreen Elm, dedicating it to her parents Carmela and Benedetto Artino.

This program is an attempt to introduce our residents to what is called “adjunctive “ therapy, a therapy that brings the individual closer to the mystery of growth and development.

The primary purpose of the program is to improve the physical and mental well being of our individuals and staff while growing wholesome nutritious food and fostering life enrichment activities.

The garden also serves to provide day activities with the possibility of pocket money for our individuals without employment.

Garden Therapy Benefits Include:

  • Developing feelings of self-esteem and usefulness. A true confidence builder.
  • Developing specific skills such as eye/hand coordination, motor coordination, manual
  • dexterity, spatial and number aptitudes, intellectual development, following instructions and decision making.
  • Learning and laughter replace anxiety and anger.
  • Stimulating social interaction and teamwork.
  • Community interactions equal positive relationships
  • Leisure activities
  • Vocational opportunities
  • In addition Garden Therapy empowers one to make a difference in their environment.


Era photo by Alan Hancock
From left, biodynamic gardeners Jim Oehler, L.A. Rotheraine, Jeff Van Scooter and Brandi Buck stand in front of a 10 foot tall cherry tomato plant on Wednesday afternoon at the Evergreen Elm garden on Elm Street. Rotheraine claims it is the strongest tomato plant on the Planet Earth. “With all the billions of dollars that the genetic engineering seed companies spend, they cannot come close to producing the unique seed that Evergreen Elm makes to create this plant,” Rotheraine said. Evergreen Elm Executive Director Debbie Price said the agency has seeds available from the giant tomato plant.
Donations would be accepted.

How We Garden—Biodynamics:

While remaining ecologically responsible, the biodynamic system enhances and raises the health and vitality of the soil through the use of extensive composting and NO chemicals.

Our Vision

Our dream is to fulfill a community need while creating possible employment opportunities and become self-sufficient.

Community Contributions:

Tours of the garden.

A quiet place for lunch or a break from the daily grind.

Lectures about our garden to local clubs and organizations.

Participation at the local County Fair.

Free distribution of our unique seed strain for the tomato plant pictured above.

Donations to the local Food Pantries and The Friendship Table.

Some members of Evergreen Elm’s Biodynamic gardening team pose for us at their garden location in Bradford, PA on August 24th.

Why we need your help:

Since the inception of the garden we had been able to cover the cost out of the general operating budget. Recently the state informed us that the garden was not a billable or allowable expense, thus leaving us with the question, “How to keep this great program operating for those we serve, the staff and the community who benefit in so many ways from the garden?”

Our Board of Directors and individuals are asking for support from our friends in the community to help keep this vital program alive.

We greatly appreciate your consideration in supporting this vital program.


Donations to the Evergreen Elm Garden Fund can be sent to:

Evergreen Elm, Inc.
50 Main Street
Bradford, PA 16701

Please make checks payable to Evergreen Elm Garden Fund.

For more information Phone: 814-362-6853

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