Freight Farms case study - Lotus House

09-09-2021    14:05   |    Agritech Tomorrow

In 2019, the Lotus House community expanded its resources and programming with the arrival of a Greenery container farm. The farm is the cornerstone of the nonprofit’s educational programs for young residents, inspiring their curiosity about science, plants and nutrition.

About Lotus House

Lotus House is considered a “holistic residential facility and resource center for women and children experiencing homelessness.” The nonprofit addresses the root cause of homelessness, with the intent to provide women and their children with tools to build the foundation for a new future. Lotus House provides more than 500 women and children residents with daycare, employment education, arts programs, a beauty salon, yoga and meditation, and more.

In 2019, the Lotus House community expanded its resources and programming with the arrival of a Greenery container farm. The farm is the cornerstone of the nonprofit’s educational programs for young residents, inspiring their curiosity about science, plants, technology, and nutrition.

Photo Courtesy of Wil Kazary

 

Photo Courtesy of Wil Kazary

 

Farm Fresh Produce Just Steps Away

Lotus House has always seen the value in growing their own food, but given the hot and humid climate of Miami, their outdoor gardening capabilities were limited. The introduction of the Greenery container farm has allowed for a year-round fresh food supply to the dining pavilion. It sits just 100 feet from the shelter’s kitchen where the chefs prepare meals with the produce grown in the farm. The Greenery has sprouted other gardening projects at Lotus House, like their rooftop garden that grows larger plants and fruiting trees.

 

Holistic Food Programs are the Answer

Prior to launching their farm program, Jackie and the team at Lotus House went through a rigorous process to understand the needs of the childhood-aged residents and how to best serve them. They found that the more layers of intervention a resident receives, the more effective it will be. This led them to create an evidence-based curriculum where the children not only learn how to operate the farm but they also take cooking classes, have dishes served to them that are prepared with the produce, and learn about the importance of a healthy diet.

Photo courtesy of Lotus House

Feeding the Future

The team at Lotus House found that many of their residents only had access to highly processed foods prior to coming to the shelter. This led them to place a priority on supplementing the meals they serve with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. With the Greenery, Lotus House is able to offer varieties of hyperfresh produce that residents may have never experienced before, introducing them to new flavors of nutritious food to pave the way for a more healthful life for themselves and their children.


Source and Header Photo Courtesy of Agritech Tomorrow


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