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Human Services Commissioner to buy holiday wreaths and greens
MORRIS PLAINS – Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital’s patient-operated horticultural program yields organic crops of commercial-grade produce, plants and flowers that are available year-round to the public at the Greenhouse Store on campus.  The program is one of several vocational training opportunities available to patients interested in learning new skills prior to disch arge.To kick-off the holiday season sales, Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez will shop at the Greenhouse Store and purchase holiday greens for friends and family on Wednesday, December 7th at 11:00 am.
“Greystone’s Greenhouse Store is a local treasure, filled with beautifully crafted, high quality seasonal items,” said Commissioner Velez. “Community residents have been coming here for years to buy unique gifts for the holidays and special occasions.”
On average, 25 patients at a time earn money to work in this popular recreation that teaches elements of greenhouse and nursery production, organic farming, interior plant-scaping and landscape gardening.  The vocational program has been in operation at Greystone for 28 years.  
“There is an incredibly valuable therapeutic component involved in our job training programs, especially with horticulture,” said Janet Monroe, CEO at Greystone. “These are discharge-preparation activities that boost patient esteem with skills that provide quick, tangible, brag-worthy results. The work provides a sense of purpose and pride.”
During the holidays, patients create wreaths and other natural craft items from Fall crops, but throughout the year the program produces various other seasonal offerings including: roses and other flowers for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day, spring annuals and a summer harvest of vegetables and herbs.
The vocational program makes about $10,000 annually from sales and receives grant money to cover expenses and supplies.
The Greenhouse Store’s hours of operation are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. It is located on the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital campus at 59 Koch Avenue in Morris Plains.  Prospective patrons should follow signs to the Greenhouse along the hospitals’ entry drive.
A similar horticultural program is available at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital where patients just completed their “Fall Harvest” sale of a variety of autumn vegetables and fall mums.  During the winter months, the greenhouse offers an assortment of succulents and houseplants. Hours of operation at the TPH Greenhouse are Monday- Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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