US (IN): "Creating jobs is going to be a big part of the quality of life"

CASS Gardens is now selling its first harvest. It’s an offshoot of CASS Housing, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live independently. The vegetables are cared for by three of the CASS House residents and teach them new skills as well as offers a way for them to earn money.

“Only 34 percent of folks with intellectual disabilities are employed,” David Buuck, executive director of CASS Housing, said. “As we looked at different programs that we wanted to offer, we said ‘creating jobs is going to be a big part of the quality of life.’ So we came across this idea about a year ago and thought it would be an incredible opportunity.”

According to CASS Gardens’ website, in 2020 CASS Housing was introduced to a company in Boston that converts shipping containers into hydroponic gardens. CASS Gardens currently has two shipping containers that grow a variety of vegetables.

“We really started off with produce that most folks were going to like: romaine, butterhead lettuce, arugula, things like that. The one wild card that we encourage everyone to try is called scarlet frills. It is a mustard green with a real taste of wasabi,” Buuck said.

“So we have limited quantities of different produce right now. If something says ‘sold out’ it’s not necessarily that thing was sold out for this first round, but those are things that will be coming in the coming weeks,” says David Buuck, executive director of CASS Housing.

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