The Farm at Lotus Village is our newest innovation project at Lotus House. The Farm is an interactive learning environment and educational program for the women, youth, and children we shelter, utilizing a working hydroponic, urban container farm that serves as an innovative working classroom. The Farm is a specially designed, climate controlled 40-foot shipping container that brings transparency, environmental soundness and sustainability to the production of vegetables. Through fun, interactive, hands-on, educational programming, it offers the opportunity to learn by doing.

Through this innovative program, our children gain a deeper understanding of the seed to harvest life cycle of plants, share in the wonder of growing and harvesting their crops, explore new tastes and learn new ways to prepare, eat and appreciate plant based foods that are healthful and nutritious. The Farm includes a custom seedling area where women and children of all ages learn to plan the seeds themselves before transferring their seedlings to east access, vertical crop columns where plants are fed via a closed loop hydroponic system that delivers nutrient rich water directly to their roots.

The Farm helps to improve the conditions in which our children learn, play and live by offering a fun, hands-on, educational environment in which they seed, nurture, grow and harvest their own fresh vegetables, building life and social skills through their individual and team efforts. In shared learning and play, meals prepared with the produce of their labor, and celebration of their accomplishments, this project fosters the development of healthy relationships among children experiencing homelessness, their mothers and single adults, many with deep histories of trauma. The "Farm Stand" located in the ground floor lobby of Lotus Village gives our farmers the opportunity to eagerly offer tasting samples of what they have grown to the whole shelter, educational fruit/veggies coloring pages, and highlight the "Farmer of the Week".

To date, The Farm has yielded over 1,000 pounds of harvested vegetables. Crops grown include over 10 varieties of lettuce, swiss chard, radishes, calendula, arugula, boc choi, parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, dil, and celery.

Our fresh lettuce and vegetables are enjoyed daily at our fresh salad bar and used in our dressings made from scratch.

Nutrition and Science Educational Programming

The newest innovation at Lotus Village is a climate-controlled, hydroponic urban garden and science lab for children and families, affectionately called the “Farm.” With embedded seed-to-harvest and farm-to-table educational programming, the Farm feeds bodies, minds and spirits on all levels. Everything about the Farm at Lotus Village is groundbreaking, including the fact that its urban farmers, the children and youth of Lotus House, never break ground! The Farm operates as an innovative children’s science lab and urban garden, bringing transparency and sustainability to the production of vegetables with the added benefit of producing high-quality, pesticide-free, fresh vegetables year-round for the supportive food service of those sheltered by Lotus Village. Through fun, interactive, hands-on, educational programming, the Farm offers children and families the opportunity to learn-by-doing in ongoing after-school, summer and weekend activities. Children deepen their understanding of the seed-to-harvest life cycle of plants, share in the wonder of growing and harvesting their crops, explore new tastes, and learn new ways to prepare, eat and appreciate nutritious plant-based foods. In the process, they have the opportunity to build new life skills, confidence and self-esteem; see and reap the fruits of their labor; and celebrate and be celebrated as their harvests are enjoyed by the entire Lotus Village community.

2019-2020 Impact

320+

Children participated in farm classes

14,900+

Heads of lettuce harvested

210+

Adults participated in farm classes

1,020+

lbs of harvested vegetables