Concord MethodistFor Stuart Perry, a recent visit to Concord Methodist Church was a homecoming of sorts. The Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO had been invited to speak at the June meeting of its men’s club. As he looked around, he spotted several former teachers who had provided positive attention and support when he attended Southland Academy over 40 years ago.

Stuart had been invited to speak in order to share the history and operations of Perry Wellness Center. While he gladly shared this information with the group, he also took the opportunity to recognize his former teachers and share his appreciation for their guidance.

Stuart also brought staff member Kelly Jansen and shared the inspirational story of Kelly’s role at the center, as well as the larger community.

“Kelly came to us over seven years ago with his graduation document from South Georgia Technical College and served as kitchen manager and chef,” Stuart recalled. “Since those days, Kelly has reached out to help everyone in every need at Perry Wellness Center. He is now manager of Rudy’s Happy Patch market and does a great job during this hectic time of year. He has become part of our family, and he has learned many significant things that have helped him over the past few years.”

Kelly then told the assemble group of his many missions throughout the world. “I do like to travel to help others and share the things that I have learned at Perry Wellness Center,” he noted. “I thank Stuart for his fatherly impact on me.”

Between Stuart’s salute to his former teachers and Kelly’s tribute to Stuart’s impact on his life, the philosophy of Perry Wellness Center was illustrated: helping others DOES make a difference in people’s lives, and “paying it forward” is the best way of saying “thank you.”

Our thanks to the men of Concord Methodist Church for allowing us this time of sharing, education, and fellowship.

Tomato capital 2As the official days of summer move closer, the inventory at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market reflects the bounty of local farmers. Two of the most popular customer purchases are filling the shelves and bins this week: tomatoes and peas!

Last year, the market posted a sign proclaiming it as the “TOMATO CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.” After having it pointed out that there was possibly a market with more tomato producers, Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry modified the statement.

Shelled peas 2019“We may not be the tomato capital of the world,” Stuart acknowledged, “But we are the tomato capital of Perry Wellness Center! We produce tomatoes year-round and offer tomatoes from several local vegetable vendors.”

Freshly shelled peas are always a popular item at the market, and coolers are filled with the latest offerings. As always, customers enjoy the freshness of locally grown peas, combined with the convenience of having them pre-shelled and cleaned.

Market manager Kelly Jansen sums up current customer requests and market activity:

“It if fun to see the schedule of our customers as they request certain vegetables. We got Chase Farms’ corn last week, and it has been a best seller. Many have asked about Jim Buchanan’s tomatoes, and they are now on display. We have purple hull peas, and the smaller variety of the peas, called “Elite” will be here this weekend. We do listen to customers and are learning the pattern of their buying.

In today’s photos, Rudy’s Happy Patch Market displays ripe tomatoes, and Kelly Jansen reveals a cooler filled with purple hull peas.

Mowing weatherThroughout our community, prayers for a quenching rain were answered over the weekend. While an increasing drought was feared, some locations were happy to report they had received over seven inches of rain.

Peers and staff of Perry Wellness Center were grateful for the reprieve. The large campus is covered with gardens and parks, and PWC’s community lifeline – the market – is dependent upon ample water for its blooming plants and growing produce. Staff and peer volunteers have combatted dry weather with frequent watering, but they are more than ready to set down their garden hoses and crank up lawn mowers.

“We work all day and into the evening to keep our inventory wet and alive,” PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry explained. “God saved us money and effort this weekend. We are all thankful.”

Peer Tyshaun Thomas wasted no time in offering to help cut the grass this week. Next on the agenda: pruning shears!

Zucchini squashDuring this peak season at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, manager Kelly Jansen fields many customer requests for particular produce. Along with other market staff, Kelly ensures that most requests are met, through identifying vendors who can provide farm-to-table vegetables for customers. 

 

While a few items are not available locally, most market produce is grown by area farmers. Last week, for example, both yellow and green zucchini squash were delivered by Jim Buchanan of Buchanan Farms. To meet customer demand for tomato variety, Jensen Farms delivered yellow tomatoes, clementine tomatoes, and the highly requested heirloom variety. (BTW, the price for these new offerings is $2.50 per pound.)

Clementine tomatoes

 

Seeing is believing, so check out some of the latest deliveries from Buchanan Farms and Jensen Farms, and bring some color, good health, and good eating, to your dinner table!

Hummingbird feedersAt Perry Wellness Center, our slogan continues to be, “You will leave with a smile.” For peers, we hope that this slogan applies to them learning new life skills on the road to recovery. For the general public, it applies to everything from the discovery of their favorite plant at Happy Patch Market to their appreciation of the bright and cheery campus.

One of the latest efforts at campus beautification is one staff member’s attempt to attract “birds of a different feather” to the campus environs. Martha Allgood recently shared her creative talents by positioning commercial humming bird feeders in the inverted frames of small hanging baskets.

“I love humming birds and want to lure them to our campus,” Martha explains. “I designed and erected this triple hanger with peers. I hope the birds will soon find this new feeding site.”

We think that birds will be drawn to the feeders and the lush environment that surrounds them, with its fountains, walking trails, and overhanging trees.

In the picture above, James, Baron, Laurie Slayton, Debra Clayton, and Patrick Pilcher watch for the first arrival of humming birds in Hope Park.

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