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The Importance of Community for Health: Embracing the Third Place at Good Harvest Market and Hop Harvest & Vine

Posted to: Wellness Blog by Joe Nolan on Jun 20, 2024

Embracing Community at the Pavilion

With the re-opening of our pavilion at Hop Harvest & Vine, we’re thrilled to offer a variety of activities that bring our community together. From America’s Pub Quiz Trivia nights and Organic Rhythm Circles, to weddings to our annual ice cream social and fundraiser for HAWS and Wildlife in Need, our pavilion is buzzing with life. This Saturday, we’re kicking off our summer concert series with Fletcher’s Reason, a band known for their original music and unique takes on hits from various genres. These events aren’t just about entertainment; they’re about fostering a sense of belonging and community.

The Backbone of a Healthy Lifestyle

While our main focus may be on supplying good, healthy foods and products, both at Good Harvest Market and Hop Harvest & Vine, we believe it’s just one part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating whole, nutritious foods is essential for overall well-being. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are linked to lower rates of chronic diseases. However, healthy eating is most effective when paired with a supportive community that encourages and reinforces good habits.

Timeline of the Pavilion Area

Two years ago, we created a beer garden area on the south side of the building, with simple picnic benches on a wood-chipped area. While a beautiful space, the southern exposure meant that if it was sunny, it often was too hot, and if it was rainy, it couldn’t be used either, limiting the days of use.

That winter, we decided to design and build a pavilion to provide shelter from summer weather for activities like live music and yoga. We then decided to enclose it, allowing us to rent the space for up to 125 people and reduce the impact of weather on plans and even allow us to rent the space for weddings, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, etc.

With accordion doors and windows, all three sides can be open to nature and cooled by gentle breezes even on the warmest days, giving the feeling of being in nature. The outdoor space is pet-friendly, and the pavilion area includes a kids’ playground with a swing set, slide, and tower, making it an ideal spot for families.

The Role of Community in Health

The Importance of Social Connections

Social interactions and community involvement are crucial for mental and physical health. According to a study from PLOS Medicine, individuals with strong social connections have a 50% increased chance of longevity. A study by Harvard also backed up the connection between social relationships and health.  This means that people who maintain robust social networks are half as likely to die over a given period compared to those with weaker social ties. On the flip side, social isolation can have dire consequences. Based on various studies, it is associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease, a 32% increased risk of stroke, and significantly higher rates of depression and anxiety.  

The Concept of the Third Place

Ray Oldenburg introduced the concept of the third place, spaces beyond home (first place) and work (second place) where people gather to build community. These third places, such as cafes, parks, and community centers, are vital for social interactions, creativity, and mental well-being. Our entire store and restaurant at Good Harvest Market and Hop Harvest & Vine, including the pavilion, are designed to serve as a third place for our community, offering spaces and activities that bring people together.

Health Benefits of Pavilion Activities

The activities we host in our pavilion aren’t just for fun—they offer real health benefits. Here are some scientifically-backed advantages associated with the types of events we hold:

  • Listening to Live Music: Linked to a reduction in stress and anxiety, as well as improved cognitive function and memory (Journal of Behavioral Medicine).
  • Drum Circles: Shown to decrease participants’ blood pressure and reduce stress hormones (Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing).
  • Pets: Known to reduce stress levels significantly, contributing to lower blood pressure and improved heart health (American Heart Association).
  • Nature Exposure: Viewing trees, wetlands, and animals in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being (Environmental Health Perspectives).
  • Outdoor Play for Kids: Children who regularly use playground equipment and engage in outdoor activities without internet access show improved physical fitness, better social skills, and enhanced cognitive development. Outdoor play is linked to lower levels of obesity and reduced symptoms of ADHD (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Good Harvest Market: More Than Just a Store

At Good Harvest Market, we offer a wide range of whole and healthy foods. But we’re more than just a store; through our events, spaces, and initiatives, we aim to foster a sense of community and promote wellness. Our pavilion and market provide not only healthy foods but also a space for community engagement and connection. The inclusion of a kids’ playground means young children can associate a healthy food store and restaurant with a fun, engaging space. This helps attract youthful “shoppers” who love coming to Good Harvest Market, potentially cementing a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

Eating healthy food early in life creates a foundation for better health as people age. Studies have shown that children who consume nutritious diets are less likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions in later life. Early healthy eating is linked to better academic performance, improved mental health, and increased longevity (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).


The re-opening of our pavilion at Hop Harvest & Vine brings a renewed focus on the importance of community for health. By offering a third place where people can gather, connect, and support each other, we help foster a sense of belonging and well-being. At Good Harvest Market, we’re committed to providing healthy foods and a space for community engagement, reinforcing the idea that eating healthy and being part of a community go hand in hand for a long and healthy life.

We invite you to visit our pavilion and Good Harvest Market to experience the benefits of community and wellness firsthand. Share your experiences, join our events, and become a part of our vibrant community.

For more information and to stay updated on our events, check out our blog.

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