We hope to put our gardens to use to create a CSA for the 2017 growing season! Stay tuned for more details, and see our 2016 CSA details below.
HALO received a grant by the Sustainable Edible Economic Development, Inc. (SEED) to purchase a 20 by 48 foot Rimol hoop house. A hoop house is a free-standing green house covered with a clear, durable, polyethylene plastic instead of glass. HALO was the first to receive a building permit for a large-scale hoop house within Racine city limits. The hoop house is located on a vacant parking lot just south of HALO’s facilities and was constructed by volunteers at Bukacek Construction.
In our first growing season (2015) we focused on small potted culinary herbs to be sold at Racine's Original Farmer's Market on State St. We also planted a 16x16' raised bed of tomatoes. These were later processed into salsa and sold as a value-added product at the market.
In the fall of 2015, an informal CSA was developed where supporters of our program agreed to purchase the produce we continued to grow through the fall. We delivered weekly to seven families in a two-mile radius of HALO. This off-the-cuff idea worked so well, we felt inspired to transform our program into a real CSA and launch Racine's first urban farm CSA in the Spring of 2016.
Beginning in 2016 we will operate a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that will deliver weekly baskets of produce grown on our urban farm to twenty households in our neighborhood.
HALO is located adjacent to a known food desert in Racine. Our aim is to be one spoke in a wheel that turns this area around and allows all residents to have access to fresh, whole food. To benefit, participants will purchase a 15-20 week subscription of delivered produce, costing $20/week. All participants, as well as outside parties, will be able to pay an additional $5/week to make this cost more affordable for low-income households.
We hope that 50% of our subscribers will come from low-income households and are taking steps to make this possible.
For this year's subscribers, we have 9 different households currently in HALO's housing program that are able to receive shares of our CSA entirely free of charge or at deeply subsidized prices.
Clients of HALO, as well as volunteer groups and community members will have opportunity to work in the urban farm. Participants will receive hands-on training while learning about horticulture and cultivation, small business management, sustainable practices, environmental concerns, nutrition, teamwork, patience and more. This program also adds horticulture therapy to HALO’s list of nearly 100 supportive services available to help program participants succeed in becoming self-sufficient.
HALO strives to lead the community in the fight against homelessness. Growing Home will be the only urban food growing program to directly support the homeless in Racine County. Growing Home will also increase awareness of HALO’s mission while highlighting the importance of locally grown food for the City of Racine.
DOWNLOAD A CSA APPLICATION
Click here to download and see the full application for our CSA. This application explains in depth what are the perks of being a part of our program and how you can get involved. Please fill it out and return to Jamie Williams either by mail at:
2000 DeKoven Ave Unit 1, Racine, WI 53403;
or by email at:
Growing Home is an initiative of HALO’s Social Enterprises committee; a group charged with developing under-used shelter facilities through community partnerships for increased revenue and program awareness. Growing Home has collaborated with the Racine Urban Garden Network, UW-Extension Master Gardener Teaching Garden and came about through the hard work of Americorps VISTA workers.