Mixed Greens is a blend of community projects to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) an opportunity to gain the lifelong skill of gardening while participating in innovative and inclusive community garden and service projects. This program offers many opportunities for socializing, recreational activity, and networking through connections with community members, local businesses, staff and volunteers. It is our aim to provide more than lessons on gardening and social gatherings. This project proposes participants focus on goal attainment, develop physical and mental skills, hone social interaction, build self-esteem, and strengthen their sense of community and personal accomplishment.
Below are a few projects we hope to implement as the program expands. If you are interested in volunteering or being a part of any of these, please contact us!
Learn more and sign up for Mixed Greens membership
Plant Yourself!: The Mixed Greens group simply provides a few green chairs for individuals visiting markets or events to rest or catch up. Words are written on the sidewalk in front of the chairs to ignite conversations, and there’s a craft table with a gardening theme incorporated for the young people.
Adopt-a-Pot: Adopt-a-Pot is program intended to beautify community landscapes, in cooperation with city and local governments. The town/government entity or a grantor provides large pots filled with soil. The pots are then “adopted” by local businesses, organizations, and individuals; planted with flowers; and cared for during the growing season. Mixed Greens would seek grantors and collaborate with local groups to plant/maintain the plants.
Little Green Wagon: The Little Green Wagon invites children and young people who visit Columbia’s local farmers markets to plant a seed, watch it grow from one Saturday to the next, and take their plant home when it is ready to transplant. Plants that do not find a home with the children who planted them will be given away. The Mixed Greens group would take care of the plants during the week and bring the mobile garden back to the market on a routine basis so that the young persons can stop in, socialize and check on their plants.
Community Gardens: This project is not just one garden, but many, coming together for a variety of worthy causes. The goal is not only to have gardens in a community setting where people with I/DD can participate, but also to have a shared garden tended by members from various groups — adding to the sense of community. These community places/gardens will work to blend groups and build new friendships between the gardeners, who give each other support and tips to improve their skills.