New Horizons for New Hampshire Greenhouse Training Project
New Horizons is starting up a program this spring to train clients in its homeless shelter program to work in a greenhouse or nursery. Last fall, a donor graciously donated a 2,100 square foot greenhouse to raise food for the soup kitchen, and raised beds were contributed by another donor. Additional outside beds for summer production will be built in March, 2014. The first planting of winter crops was in October, 2013, and the first harvest was November 27. The greenhouse is run completely by volunteers, some of whom are clients. We will be starting a formal training program in March to train currently unemployed clients to work in a greenhouse or nursery setting. The training will include:
1. basic plant biology
2. understanding common planting and care instructions
3. planning space allocation
4. choosing varieties and cultivars
5. dealing with common growing and pest problems organically
6. growing practices specific to organic growers
7. elementary business operations
During January and February, we will be developing our curriculum and materials to coincide with the needs of local greenhouse operators and nursery owners so that the clients have a better chance of finding employment afterwards.
Much of the work that the New Horizons clients will perform in this program will be for growing food that will be used in the soup kitchen, which feeds close to 300 people per day. If there is any excess food production, it will go to the food pantry, which serves almost 1,000 families per month.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA