Project Grow is an innovative farming initiative developed by Allies in 2010 on the West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College. Today the thriving project has grown to include a community garden plot at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ and satellite gardens at Allies day program sites.
The program is designed to provide individuals with disabilities an opportunity to prepare for employment, horticultural therapy and nutritional education in a healthy and productive environment. Project Grow emphasizes creating positive relationships, learning generalized employment skills, and gaining a greater sense of self-reliance while experiencing job training in the farming industry.
The program participants learn how to manage a fully operational farm starting with preparing the soil to harvesting and distributing the crops. Each year, a bountiful harvest of vegetables, herbs and flowers are produced which are then made available for sale in local communities or donated for use in homes supported by Allies. Proceeds from sales go back into the program to help purchase supplies for the next season.
Project Grow is made possible through strong community partnerships between Allies, Mercer County Community College, Duke Farms Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
How You Can Participate:
- Project Grow is utilized by Allies, Inc. Day Programs. Participants of our Programs are offered involvement in the initiative ranging from vocational to therapeutic actives.
- Project Grow can also be accessed via the Allies Supports Program. Please contact us to learn how to enroll at: (609) 689-0136, Ext. 185 or SProgram@alliesnj.org
How You Can Help:
Volunteers are needed in an array of areas from preparing the land, planting and mulching to harvesting and garden clean up. It is a perfect opportunity for corporate and community groups. We also accept donations from local individuals and wholesale nurseries. To see some of the volunteers, click here…Our Volunteers.
Giving Back to our Community
Through a grant from Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Project Grow has formed a partnership with Mercer Street Friends Food Bank to address hunger in our local communities. The Project Grow program is providing fresh produce for distribution to those in need who experience limited access to healthy alternatives.
The garden has donated nearly 900 pounds of fresh produce and herbs annually to the food bank through the efforts of our participants!