Although things have appeared quiet on the Cultivate Helena front over the last year, it has been far from quiet behind the scenes. We have been working tirelessly, building up our new Board of Directors, grant writing, and collaborating with local organizations in and effort to launch our Cultivate Youth project.
Unfortunately, the main government grant we were depending on getting for Cultivate Youth fell through; however, we are not ready to give up quite yet and will push on with the intent to launch next growing season.
Modeled after the very successful Missoula program, Youth Harvest, this therapeutic farm project will provide unique and powerful experiential education, competency development, and rehabilitation opportunities for Youth Court participants with the goal of preventing them from becoming adult offenders. They will work under the guidance of a licensed social worker, learning to grow food, run a business, and interact with individuals and groups in the Helena community.
By growing food for others, they will have the opportunity to interact with nature as well as prove they are integral members of the community with much to give back. Once they have harvested the crops they’ve planted, they will sell the produce from a mobile farm stand at very low prices to low-income sects of our community.
A community becomes resilient when everyone has something to give back.
We are very proud that West Mont Farm & Gardens has committed to donating irrigated acreage of farm land, and Intermountain has agreed to provide the social service component of this program. We are actively seeking out new grants and other fundraising opportunities to implement the program by next growing season, spring of 2018. Check back often to see how we are progressing!