When The Greenhouse Project opened on the Carson High School campus in 2011, 20 students participated in the programs offered.
This year, founder Karen Abowd said, 160 students are enrolled in classes centered around the greenhouse, with a waiting list of more who are interested.
“It’s a magical place,” she said.
And with that participation, said her husband, Charlie Abowd, owner of Adele’s Cafe, the greenhouse was able to donate 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to food banks last year.
“It’s not just the classic homeless,” he said. “It’s the growing number of working poor who are tapping into services like the Salvation Army, FISH, Ron Wood Family Resource Center and Food for Thought for food baskets to augment their food budget. That is probably the most important part of this program. That’s what God put us here to do.”
At a presentation this week, the Abowds, along with site manager Camille Jones, explained the upcoming fundraisers for the community greenhouse, which also produces flower baskets for the downtown corridor and cut flowers for sale to benefit special-needs programs at the high school. It also serves as a classroom for agriculture and science students and provides some fresh fruits and vegetables for the culinary arts program.
“This is all grants and donations,” said Karen Abowd. “That’s what funds this.”
Upcoming fundraisers include:
Green Thumb Run: A 5K walk/run will be at 8 a.m. May 3 at the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, 1535 Medical Parkway. The run winds through the medical campus and golf course. The cost is $30 online or $35 at the event, or $20 for runners 18 and younger. Go to CarsonTahoe.com/5K to register or call 775-445-5161.
Spring Plant Sale: Plants, including tomatoes, squashes, herbs, melons, peppers and greens, along with a wide variety of flowers will be on sale 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. May 10 at the Greenhouse behind Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road. For more information, go to carsoncitygreenhouse.org.
Community-Share Agriculture: The CSA will run June 5-Oct. 16, and participants will receive weekly baskets of seasonal produce, along with a bouquet of flowers and gourmet mushrooms all grown at The Greenhouse Project. Pick-up will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Thursday at the greenhouse. Payments may be made in full for $550 or two payments of $300 by May 9. For more information, contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sixth annual Concert Under the Stars: This year’s concert features the Little River Band with special guests Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere, or Little Feat. It will be 6:30 p.m. July 9 at Cafe at Adele’s, 1112 N. Carson St. Karen Abowd suggested those interested buy their tickets early.
“It just seems in our area certain bands trigger sales,” she said. “The Little River Band sells itself.”
In addition to the fundraisers, The Greenhouse Project is hosting a community activity from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26 for Earth Day, asking for volunteers to paint the raised beds. Refreshments will be served. Visit carsoncitygreenhouse.org for more information.
Abowd said she never doubted the greenhouse would be a success.
“I truly believe if there’s a need the community will step up to fill it,” she said. “That’s what happened here. But, that being said, every time you walk in, it’s like, ‘Wow!’”