SARASOTA, Fla. – The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s (SarasotaChamber.com) 2016 Leadership Sarasota County class unveiled the enhanced Academy Farms organic-certified garden, maintained by Easter Seals Southwest Florida, during a ribbon-cutting event last week.
A crowd of more than 100 came to witness the Earth Day event. Attendees received a fresh sample from the garden, took tours of the 100 percent USDA organic-certified garden and saw the improvements made by the 2016 class for their project – dubbed Academy Farms: Project Grow! Morgan’s Canteen & Cookery, a family-owned and operated catering and mobile food vending company, was on site, and Richard’s Foodporium provided complimentary refreshments and treats.
Guests also heard from Easter Seals Southwest Florida’s Tom Waters, president and CEO, and Don Herndon, director of VIP Academy and Adult Programming, as they provided an introduction on Easter Seals Southwest Florida and the garden, entirely operated by its students and staff. Tiffany Mangold, the project chair for the class, gave an overview of the enhancements made by Leadership Sarasota County.
About the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1921, the award-winning not-for-profit membership organization provides the leadership to achieve a diverse balanced economy that enhances the quality of living and working in greater Sarasota. The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s dynamic group of 1,500 member companies and organizations recognize the value of working together to accomplish what no single member could hope to achieve individually. For more information, visit www.SarasotaChamber.com.
About Easter Seals Southwest Florida
Easter Seals Southwest Florida has been part of our community for 65 years. The nonprofit offers the highest quality of care and services to children, youth and adults with special needs so that they can enjoy access, opportunities and increased life choices. Easter Seals Southwest Florida is committed to remaining a leader in special needs services – an organization to which individuals and their families can turn to for resources and support with a continuum of care throughout their lives. For more information, visit www.EasterSeals-SWFL.org.
About Academy Farms
Easter Seals Southwest Florida’s Academy Farms is a 100 percent USDA organic-certified herb garden, entirely operated by its students and staff. In 2012, the nonprofit received a donation of a single hoop house. Since then, the farm has grown to three hoop houses, and 30 earth boxes with over a dozen types of herbs and vegetables. Academy Farms’ herbs are sold to local restaurants, including Arts & Eats, Melange, Eat Here, Beach Bistro and Jack Dusty at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. All proceeds from the purchase benefit the mission of Academy Farms, which is to combine teaching necessary life skills with revenue generation.