URBAN FARM & GARDEN
The Alpha Omega Veterans Urban Farm is a 1.5 acre farm located at our picturesque Ball Road facility. The project is designed to engage and meet various needs of the veterans served by Alpha Omega Veterans Services. The Urban Farm & Garden program began February 2018 with a partnership with Memphis Tilth whose mission is to “cultivate collective action for an economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound local food system.”
Not only does our farm provide fresh food for the veterans housed in each of the six facilities we operate, the program utilizes therapeutic gardening opportunities, which improves the quality of life for all participants and is especially beneficial to veterans suffering from PTSD. The Urban Farm offers our veterans volunteer and employment opportunities, as well. Additional on-the-job educational opportunities include animal husbandry (chickens and bees), basic mechanic skills (tractor work) and marketing and public speaking (at local farmer’s markets).
The farm-to-table educational courses and classes are designed to offer education to veterans in every aspect of growing, harvesting, cooking, and using naturally grown vegetables. This includes advanced cooking/food service skills (through save harvesting, processing, and ServSafe certification).
The farm is Certified Naturally Grown, Good Agricultural Practices Certified and certified Homegrown by Heroes, a part of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
In addition to the main farm, this project is developing a 1-acre ‘Wellness Garden’ on the grounds. The Wellness Garden seeks to meet the therapeutic needs of clients by offering sensory engaging experiences such as a water feature and additional horticultural therapy opportunities.