An Air Force veteran who used to struggle with his own mental health is now helping other veterans in need. John Mahshie says he felt “alone and isolated” after he left the service and his father died. He decided to turn nine acres his family used to raise pigs in Hendersonville, North Carolina, into a farm filled with organic fruit trees, berry bushes and medicinal herbs and flowers, but it’s so much more than just a farm.
Mahshie had a vision of creating a community for fellow veterans who needed a sense of belonging and Veterans Healing Farm was it. He knew he felt less depressed when he helped others in the past, so that’s what he focused on. Entrepreneurial boot camps helped him with the business side and YouTube videos taught him what he knows about planting and growing and now he and his wife, Nicole, invite former military service members to help run the farm.
“What we do is give veterans a new community that they can be a part of with other veterans, caregivers and civilians," says Mahshie. "The need is so significant. We grow plants, but we are growing much more than that. We cultivate life through building community."