Depending on the day of the week, Dustin Sutton may be working at the Arnold Center's hydroponic farm, on a paper recycling truck at Dow, or as a vendor at the Midland Area Farmers Market. Sutton, an enthusiastic and outgoing person, has worked with the Arnold Center in some capacity for 30 years.
"It's easier to say who we don't collaborate with," Arnold Center Executive Director Jennifer Grace said during an interview Thursday morning after giving the Daily News a 30-minute tour of the building on Wexford Avenue. "We love to collaborate with other organizations and do activities together."
The stated mission of the Arnold Center is: "We empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to independence through enhanced vocational, social, and life skill training opportunities that lead to greater self-sufficiency and self-development."
A turn to the left leads to a spacious indoor hydroponics facility. Welcome to Arnold Farms, which opened in 2018 and grows 24,000 plants at one time, not including microgreens. Fifty pounds of leafy greens and 50 ounces of microgreens are harvested each week, and that number continues to grow as the hydroponic system is updated, Grace said.
This produce ends up being sold or consumed at Midland Area Farmers Market, LaLonde's Market, Jack's Fruit and Meat Markets, Northwood University, Delta College, Journeys Coffeehouse, Ric's Food Center in Mount Pleasant, and Pizza Baker.
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