Seed to Sale
The Seed to Sale program is a partnership between Zachariah’s Acres and nine local transition programs (Special education students ages 18-21 in Oconomowoc High School, Watertown High School…). Young adults with intellectual disabilities will take ownership of a raised garden bed for the purpose of growing, packaging, and selling produce. The benefits of the Seed to Sale program will include, but are not limited to, making healthy food choices, increasing and enjoying physical activity, enhanced social connections, business & money management, packaging & handling, community interaction, and horticulture. The Seed to Sale Program will promote health equity through several avenues. The young adults will gain direct knowledge by growing and harvesting fruits & vegetables in their own garden at Zachariah’s Acres. The students in the Transition Programs will also receive health education from various professionals such as chefs, gardeners, dietitians, and Zachariah’s Acres staff. The skills learned through the Seed to Sale program can be integrated into the participant’s own home, as a leisure activity, or in the community as valued, productive employees. Produce harvested from the gardens will be used within the transition programs, food pantry, farm-to-table fundraiser, and Zachariah’s Acres CSA program. Participants will choose the design and location for their raised garden bed and work with Eagle Scout candidates to construct onsite. The final project will be to plan and implement student-led garden tours that showcase what students have learned over the year, and ignite healthy living changes within our community.
The Zachariah’s Acres Garden Club consists of young adults with special needs. They visit on a regular basis with a job coach or caregiver, to learn about plant cycles (and other horticulture topics), plant in the greenhouse, amend the soil in the gardens, harvest, and pack veggies. It’s more than just fun in the garden, but real, meaningful work for individuals who are consistently turned down from traditional employment or volunteer opportunities.