Promoting Academy Farms operation and the Leadership Sarasota County’s Grow! Initiative
Introducing Academy Farms
Academy Farms is our very own organically certified produce farm, entirely operated by our students and staff. In 2012, we received a donation of a single hoop house. Little did we know, this small hoop house would soon grow into three, along with 30 earth boxes and over one dozen types of herbs and vegetables, providing a tremendous educational opportunity for our students. Not only do our clients learn how to plant, nurture and harvest the vegetables, but they also participate in the sale and delivery of those herbs and vegetables to local restaurants.
Academy Farms enables our staff to combine teaching valuable life skills with revenue generation. Local restaurants and vendors involved in our purchase program include: Arts & Eats, Beach Bistro, Jack Dusty at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Melange, Eat Here, Epicurean Hotel, Marriott Waterside, Fodder and Shine, Verti-Gro, Irrigation Design, Johnny’s Seeds and many others. All proceeds from the purchase program go back to funding the mission of Academy Farms, which is to combine teaching necessary life skills with revenue generation.
Ultimately, we hope to use the program to provide sustainable produce to the many food deserts within our community. With your help, Academy Farms will continue to offer exceptional educational and business opportunities for our students.
Leadership Sarasota’s Project Grow! Initiative
We are so grateful to our supporters in the 2016 Leadership Sarasota County class. The class has chosen Easter Seals as the recipient of their annual class project, which they have named “Project Grow!,” and consists of multiple tasks. The class will be adding plumbing to our hoop houses, installing concrete walkways to allow for easier wheelchair access, transporting garden and compost areas and providing outdoor wash stations for our students. View the Leadership Sarasota Facebook Page for more information on the project timeline and completed tasks. Thank you, 2016 Leadership Sarasota County class!