New growth in Hattie’s Garden

A strong community works, lives and learns together. Hattie’s Garden, a sustainable agriculture program of Hattie Larlham, is continuing to bolster their community by planting a second location at the Old Trail School in Bath, Ohio. It will create new jobs for people with developmental disabilities, provide organic produce to the public and teach Old Trail School students the health and entrepreneurial benefits of sustainable gardening.

The first Hattie’s Garden was planted in 2011 at the Crown Point Ecology Center with collaboration from Summit DD. The original garden has been a great success. It employs seven people with developmental disabilities and their job coaches. Individuals learn gardening skills, soil preparation, seedling care and more, plus the garden maintains a flock of 20 free-range, laying hens. Hattie’s Garden employees are also an important part of this inclusive community, selling eggs and produce to local markets and restaurants.

For the new location at the Old Trail School, Hattie Larlham has partnered with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The garden will be approximately seven acres of land and will further expand employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. The garden will also serve as a learning center for Old Trail School students through a specially designed curriculum.

The classes will allow students to work with and learn from Hattie’s Garden employees. They’ll be educated on the entire cycle of sustainable gardening, from tilling the soil to composting food scraps for next season’s crop. As an added benefit, students will also be able to enjoy fresh Hattie’s Garden produce in the school cafeteria.

“This partnership is an example of how organizations can come together in a way that serves the greater good of the region,” Hattie Larlham CEO Dennis Allen said. The new garden will be unveiled on Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 in the afternoon. Several Summit County dignitaries are expected to speak at the event.

Learn more information about Hattie’s Garden and their community efforts.

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