The Greenhouse Project was started to feed the food insecure. Today we have developed as a resource to teach Carson City’s youth and citizens the importance of sustainable living, how to grow their own foods and to be healthy, increase their knowledge of nutrition, and love the outdoors. In support of its stated mission, The Greenhouse Project provides fresh nutritious food , free of charge to community food banks and encourages families, children, schools and the community to reconnect with the outdoors.
In the last ten years, The Greenhouse Project has expanded to include multiple sites. Our newest site, the Foothill Garden, is a community partnership with Carson Tahoe Hospital and is located near the Carson Tahoe Cancer Institute. Foothill is a large, state-of-the-art hoop house with space for raised beds and naturalized planting. The Greenhouse Project staff working at the site also help support the CTH Employees Garden. Produce from this site is donated to Eagle Valley Children’s Home and Meals on Wheels.
Our staff will be providing education for a new site that is in the planning stages – the Mills Park Community Garden, located across from Carson High School.
Located on the campus of Carson High School in Nevada’s Capital City, the Greenhouse provides a wonderful educational base for students of all ages, while also providing fresh vegetables to the under served in our community.
Since it began operations in fall of 2010, the original commercial-sized growing facility has expanded to include outdoor, community growing areas complete with ADA compliant walking trails among more than 90 planting beds. The staff has worked with teachers to foster a thriving agriculture and FFA program at Carson High School. Our program is open to school children of all ages and abilities and is teaching important job skills, including all aspects of urban farming and agricultural management.
The students, under the direction of an on-site manager, have grown a thriving program as demonstrated through the cut flower and hanging baskets projects. In 2014, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, providing fresh vegetables and flowers to subscribers was implemented and met with great success.
From the master gardener volunteers, to seniors, to the children of middle and high school age, to their parents, The Greenhouse Project is a proven educational resource and multiple curricula has been developed by the high school, Western Nevada College and Cooperative Extension of Nevada that provides training and education venues for all ages.
Ninety percent of produce grown at The Greenhouse goes to local food banks that include Friends in Service Helping (FISH), Salvation Army, Ron Wood Family Resource Center, and Circles Initiative on a rotating monthly basis, and 10 percent is dedicated to the Culinary Program at Carson High School.
The Greenhouse has met or exceeded its goal of producing 400 pounds of produce each month and has far exceeded its original goal of having at least 200 students participating in the vocational/educational programs.
In short, The Greenhouse Project has succeeded mightily in “growing the next generation of farmers,” as Project President Karen Abowd likes to say, and will continue each year to expand those opportunities.