Along with providing fresh produce to the community, Aquatic Greens Farm in Bryan helps support individuals with special needs working on the farm.
Sharon Wells established Aquatic Greens Farm in 2013, and with her program over the past two years has been hiring and training adults with special needs to help run the farm. However, due to the winter storm on the week of Feb. 14, the workers have undergone setbacks and created a GoFundMe to help repair damages.
At Aquatic Greens Farm, Wells said they specifically use aquaculture to grow a variety of produce.
“We use fish in order to provide the nutrients for the plants,” Wells said. “We grow different types of greens: lettuces, celery, kale and chard. There’s also two commercial kitchens at the farm, where I have a variety of different tenants who use it.”
Muriel Mathieu, owner of Muriel’s GF Bakery and tenant on the farm, said she opened up her kitchen to also train adults with special needs.
“Sometimes it’s not easy, but they have another perspective of life, and the things that could be boring for you, it’s always enjoyable for them,” Mathieu said. “We try to build the community, and I’m happy to participate and to do something.”
Wells said she has been teaching the students to work independently and take charge of the tasks on the farm.
“They do everything from filling the cups to planting seeds and transferring to the rafts, then harvesting. Since January, we’re starting to train them to sell and then how to work with customers,” Wells said. “Basically, they do everything on the farm. They’re even trained now to even do the cleaning in the building because we’re having consumers come in.”
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