Our Volunteer EzGro Garden
A tract of land, measuring 6.89 acres, was donated to The Volunteer Way in 2008 by the Parker family.
We are using approximately 1.5 acres of this land to grow vegetables for the less fortunate families of our community.
We cleared the land and started our project “Hydroponics Farming for Hunger”. With hydroponics, and the EzGro System we are able to grow 12 to 16 plants in a space that is equal to the space of one plant growing in the ground. With the EzGro Garden, all vegetables are grown organically and we can grow these plants twelve months a year. The EzGro Hydroponics system requires much less water than traditional gardens and the plants grow faster. This type of gardening requires less labor and gives families the option to eat fresh vegetables. The idea of hydroponics is a unique option for a food bank, which traditionally deals with non-perishable items only. Tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers, and other produce can be grown, in pots, one on top of the other, for the entire year. This gardening innovation promotes healthier food options for those families served by our food bank.
The Hydroponic Farm has been home this past year for one of The Volunteer Way’s new programs “Sheltered Workshop”. This program allows many handicapped young men and women to come together for a worthwhile cause of planting and harvesting vegetables for the low income and homeless people that visit The Volunteer Way food bank. These young people come together for a helping, preparing, harvesting and learning environment that they might not otherwise be able to experience.
These young people work together on a weekly basis, side by side, learning all of the techniques necessary for the planting, caring for, and harvesting of fresh vegetables. They learn many new things and develop the skills necessary to work together, assist others, and give attention to details. All of these young people who work in the “Sheltered Workshop” take a lot of pride and satisfaction in seeing firsthand what their hard work and TLC can accomplish. The Volunteer Way is very proud to have them as part of the TVW family.
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An EzGro Garden At Amalie Arena
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Gartner Callaway Sustainability Company
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