Nonprofit startup Blooming Health Farms is utilizing sustainable agricultural practices to provide its community with fresh and affordable vegetables while deterring at-risk youth from engaging in crime.
An agricultural practice Blooming Health Farm uses is called aquaponics. Aquaponics involves mimicking the natural ecosystem very closely to produce more food using 93 percent less water and 90 percent less land than traditional farms.
One in five families currently do not have access to adequate nutrition in Weld County. Blooming Health Farms is planting its first batches of crops estimating to supply local restaurants with 5,000 pounds of produce a month.
Furthermore, the nonprofit is striving to reduce criminal involvement amongst at-risk youth staffing the farm.
“We believe sustainable agriculture offers the best chance to create the future leaders of our community,” said Director of Operations Sean Short.
The goal is to reduce their criminal involvement by 90 percent within a time span of five years. Additionally, these youth will receive job skills training in both STEM fields and soft skills from communication to leadership.
“Blooming Health was always destined to be a place of learning,” said Master’s level Clinical Counselor Ryan Smith. “Whether it’s job skills training, clinical supervision, community classes or exploring new methods of crop production, learning is at the core,” said Ryan.
Participants of the program will receive paychecks, food rations and even cooking classes. Also, anyone participating will receive eligibility for a peer mentorship program to develop leadership skills and enhance employability.
“We’re turning desperation into passion helping kids find meaning in a world where it’s hard to survive,” Ryan said.
For more information regarding the program and sponsorship opportunities, visit: www.bloominghealthfarms.com or call 970-518-5266