We are very excited to announce that this year will mark the implementation of our first very own hydroponic greenhouse. We broke ground on April 16th and this week we began the assembly of the hydroponic infrastructure itself. We are collaborating with the Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program (NORWESCAP), Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS), and Prodigal Sons and Daughters Re-Entry Services (PSD) to create the “Arthur and Friends Urban Greenhouse and Training Center” in Orange, New Jersey.
We will provide employment training in the growing and marketing of premium hydroponic produce to disabled veterans, ex-offenders, at-risk-youth, disabled adults, former substance abusers and other marginalized and underserved groups. It will replicate a NORWESCAP program launched with a single rural Sussex County greenhouse in February 2008 that is now expanding into five other sites throughout New Jersey.
In just 1800 square feet, we will produce over the course of twelve months more than 25,000 units of high quality, nutritious, locally grown lettuce, herbs and greens, to be sold directly to our neighbors from our onsite farm stand and local farmers markets as well as schools and restaurants.
Stay tuned as there will be much more information to come!