060: John Mahshie, Founder of Veterans Healing FarmsFebruary 16, 2016 by Cigars and Sea Stories | 1 Comment
On this episode of Cigars and Sea Stories, the team welcomes Air Force veteran Mr. John Mahshie. John is the founder and executive director of Veterans Healing Farm.
He joined the US Air Force right after high school, drawn to a life of service. In the military he experienced a strong sense of belonging and purpose. He had responsibilities, goals to accomplish, and brothers he could depend on within the community of the military.
Outside of the military there were no more orders, no mission, and a deep sense of isolation. For this reason, John started Veterans Healing Farm, wishing to create community for himself, fellow veterans, and for others in the local community desiring a sense of belonging and purpose.
In 2010, John attended Blue Ridge Community College and received a certificate in horticulture. He went on to start his own businesses including a produce stand and a pesto company for which he grew 1,600 basil plants. As his skills in agriculture increased, he sensed it was now time to invite others to participate with him at the farm.
As executive director, John wears many hats. He’s the head gardener, responsible for the vision, mission, and planning of the organization and each seasons garden. He also spends many hours researching and studying sustainability and farming via seminars, conferences, and on-line training. You can find him in the field most days, sun beaming down, surrounded by brethren.
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