CAN: Bringing hydroponics to neurodiverse people

Northern Growing Abilities has set up shop in their new base, moving on to the next steps in their plan to bring a hydroponic veggie garden and employment to Creighton. The project, through which organizers are hoping to both grow local hydroponic produce and to create jobs for people with intellectual differences, is moving ahead slowly through the pandemic.

“The goal is still the same. The main goal is to employ our neurodiverse community members, such as people with autism or Down syndrome,” said Amber Beaton, board chair for Northern Growing Abilities. “That’s always been our goal, to create a sustainable business where they can work.”

The biggest jump forward is having a new home base - the Northern Fellowship Chapel building at First Street West in Creighton. The building needs some work for the project to move along, but having a roof and four walls is a big step forward for the group.

“We’ve been getting estimates on the renovations and seeing how much that’s going to be. We’ve been doing two fundraisers and we just started a new one again today,” said Beaton.

“We’ll be meeting up pretty soon for some strategic planning, so we can really get the ball rolling on rentals and getting the greenhouse up. We’ve still got a few options for what we can do with the greenhouse,” Beaton said.

Along with fundraisers, the board is pursuing grant funding to help cover expenses and new equipment. “I love this cause - we’ve been working on this for a few years now and I’ve been on this since the beginning, so I’ll keep with it,” said Beaton.

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