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Greenhouse helps veterans camp blossom

The nursery wants to see healthy growth in the lives of veterans and first responders.

CARBONDALE, Pa. — Hundreds of thousands of flowers and vegetables grow at Blueberry Hill Farm Greenhouses outside Forest City. For the last three years, it's been supplying nearby Camp Freedom with all the colorful foliage they can handle.

"Whatever they ask for," said John Moustica, owner of Blueberry Hill Farm Greenhouses. "Whatever beds they have, I trust them and I just tell them whatever they need, we will supply it to them."

The camp sits on 1,800 picturesque acres outside Carbondale. 

It's described as an outdoor paradise complete with a cabin, trails, and an island that sits on a lake. It all serves as a getaway for those who need it most.

"We take disabled Veterans, first responders, family members, and gold star families, hunting, fishing, hiking, and biking," said Kyle Jones, the camp's caretaker. "Anything in the outdoors you can think of, we do it completely free of charge."

"It's such a great cause," Moustica said. "The least we could do is donate back to these veterans; men and women who sacrificed so much for us."

The plants will end up in flowerbeds like this one here Camp Freedom, giving Veterans a simple, but therapeutic task.

"It gives them something to do to take their mind of things, things that could be going on at home or inside the head," Jones said. "The thoughts when a Vet or first responder are left alone are probably the most dangerous. To get them out in nature and doing those things, it's huge."

As a U.S. Navy Veteran himself, Jones knows the impact Camp Freedom can have.

"I never thought it would be a huge difference at first until I came there and I experienced it," he said. "It's changed my life."

The camp will be all the more inviting with some of nature's most vibrant yellows, purples, and reds on display.

"If we can put a smile on a person's face, make these veterans feel good when they're up there at their facility, that's all that matters," Moustica said.

Camp visitors will start planting this weekend and organizers hope they'll blossom too.