One of the leading issues facing adults with autism is the lack of employment options.  In fact, nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job.

With the right support, these adults can become valued workers and contributing members of their community. Greens Do Good, a hydroponic, vertical farm, in Hackensack, NJ, is doing its part to help change that.

The “Greens Work” job sampling program will allow teens and young adults with autism to intern at the farm and engage in a variety of roles related to hydroponic farming including maintenance and cleaning, seeding, planting, harvesting, and packaging. The opportunity is available to local school districts with autism related programs, as well as private schools serving individuals with autism. The Greens Do Good program aligns with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

“Greens Do Good opens up a unique vocational opportunity outside of traditional SLE programs, providing ‘green collar’ job training and valuable experiences for individuals with autism,” explains Chantelle Walker. “Our goal is to assist students in furthering their education, help them to develop essential skills, and ease the transition between high school and employment.”

The Green Greens Do Good farming method allows for four-season growing across a smaller footprint than most traditional farms, using less water and energy and minimizing the impact to the environment. Each day brings a new crop of basil, baby kale, butterhead lettuce, and over 20 varieties of microgreens—hand-picked and packed at the height of freshness, then sold to local restaurants, country clubs, supermarkets, food service providers, and through home delivery.

To learn more about Greens Do Good and the “Greens Work” program, please contact Jen Faust at jfaust@reedfoundationforautism.org.

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