Toms River indoor farm grows work opportunities for those with disabilities

On the ground floor of a Toms River professional building, in a back corner room the size of a small office, a dream is growing. This is Main Street Greens, a farm managed in part by adults with developmental disabilities. Yes, there’s a farm in an office space. It’s hydroponic, which is a method of growing crops without soil, using a water-based mineral solution instead.

Seeded in late March with 25 varieties of plants, the farm produced 400-plus pieces of produce in the first month. “We love basil,” Margaret Brusich said as she gave a tour.

Brusich is one of 43 people who attend the Adult Training Center run here by 21 Plus Inc., a nonprofit that provides community-based programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Many work as part of a cleaning service run by 21 Plus. This is the latest initiative.

“It’s something different, unique, innovative,” 21 Plus Executive Director Diane Hutton-Rose said. “And it’s good for the earth.”

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