Community Greenhouse Farms is a Non-Profit Organization located in rural Southwest Missouri. We began the idea of the farm with the sole purpose of providing the community with healthy foods grown in a sustainable manor. Many times in smaller communities, the access to healthy organic foods is either unattainable or very expensive. In a small town or rural area there can be an Impact of Poverty, Food Insecurity, and Poor Nutrition when it comes to the people in the community, and this can affect their Health and Well Being.
At the farm we will be providing many different programs. Such as............
The possibilities are endless to assure that no one person in our community goes hungry ever again! We just need your help to do it. Please visit the rest of the site and see how you can help make a difference in the community.
Laclede County is located in Southern Missouri about an hour NE of Springfield. As of the 2017 census, the county had a population of 35,488 with a poverty rate of 17.7%. That means that over 6,000 people in the county are living in poverty. The median household income is $42,646 for a family of 3. This in itself is very low, but when a family of 3 is living in poverty with a household income of $21,330 or below, this is just not living. When living in poverty and with limited resources, people may find it hard to maintain good health, consume a nutritious diet, manage a chronic disease or a combination of these. The impact of poverty can cause an increased feeling of Food Insecurity. Food Insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. When someone suffers from food insecurity it can cause stress, poor nutrition and can greatly affect their health and well being. In addition, those impacted by poverty or food insecurity are likely experiencing additional resource related hardships (housing instability, energy insecurity) and this can just compound their health problems. If we can help to solve one of these insecurities, then we can then focus more clearly on helping with the others. Food feeds our mind, our body and our soul. If all of these are healthy, then we stand a better chance to led a happier, healthier life.
There is no reason that anyone in America should have food insecurity. We need to make a change and we are going to start this within the community.
We see that in order to make change, we must do it as a community. Our main goal at Community Greenhouse Farms is to address the nutritional health issues and the food insecurity in our community.
The way we are going to go about this, is to tackle it from multiple directions.
First - We need to make natural and healthy foods more readily available to the community. Many times in smaller communities, there is a lack of availability due to the transportation costs and logistics of getting the products to the people. By growing and producing the food in the community, we eliminate the need for transportation. We also need to provide free food assistance to those in the community who need it and avoid the stigma of being food insecure.
Second - The other major issue with healthy organic foods is the cost. Organic foods can cost the consumer and arm and a leg because of what goes into it. Production costs for organic foods are typically higher because of greater labor input and because farmers don't produce enough of a single product to lower the overall cost. We will address this issue in 2 ways. We first need to look at the way that we grow the food. Traditional farming takes up a lot of space and on smaller organic farms, it actually takes more workers to tend to the farm. You have to worry about pests, weather, water needs and a whole slew of other things. In an aquaponic greenhouse, we eliminate all of those issues. We are growing in a controlled environment that we can operate year round. Our yields are 10x higher than that of traditional farming and we are using less water, less labor and we are doing it in an area that is 20x smaller. By doing all of this, we are able to grow more product at a lower cost making it more affordable to the consumer.
Third - We need to educate the consumer on the health and nutritional benefits that come from food. Also, how to make these foods taste great. A lot of times people don't buy certain foods because they don't know what to do with them. We are going to help them with this also by providing meal planning, recipes and even cooking classes. As a chef, I have heard this a million times....."Why does healthy food taste so bad"? It's all in how you prepare it! We also need to help people understand that many of the foods that they are buying have absolutely no nutritional value what so ever.
In our classroom we are going to have classes on nutrition, cooking, gardening, canning, pickling and so much more. There will also be videos on our YouTube Channel and in the future on this website.
At Community Greenhouse Farms we want to not only provide the community with healthy foods, but a healthier lifestyle through eating better. Just remember the old saying, "We are what we eat"!
This is the most important part of the What, Where, How, Why and Who. The WHO, is the community. There is an old proverb that says "It takes a village to raise a child", that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The villagers look out for the children.
I think the same is true with anything. It takes a village, or community, to really make a change in the lives of all those in the community.
We need the help of the community to succeed. Whether the help comes from volunteering, fundraising, donations, social media support or just coming by to purchase some great produce. We need your help, so that we can help those members of the community that need it most!