Fred Indenbaum, Counselor from the KidsPeace Advances School in Berks PA, was invited to visit Puerto Rico last month and participate in the island's second annual "Veggie Fest." Fred stayed at the home of a local health care consulting firm executive and spent the weekend giving presentations and informal talks about the garden his kids tend on the Berks Campus. There was significant interest in the Advances gardening program for all of the therapeutic value it provides in addition to its bountiful yield of vegetables and flowers.

The festival was great fun and a terrific learning experience, and Fred was delighted with all of the interest shown for his program by members of the health and wellness community. There was coverage by a local radio station as well as high attendance. Fred also visited an inner city elementary school where his host would like to start a similar garden for the children of the area.

Fred also explained the Advances vericomposting project where the students recycle food waste and paper into rich soil for the garden. This not only helps the planet but also saves the school money in trash hauling costs. He showed the men plastic lumber, which is made from recycled plastic and works very well in garden settings. Fred impressed everyone so much with his knowledge and passion for environmental issues, that he was invited to return to Puerto Rico in October to make a formal preentation to the civic and business leaders of the Rotary Club. He will also meet with a grant writer to help the program obtain funding. Fred is delighted to help start a sister organization that can exchange ideas with the Advances program to benefit both projects.