TLC’s greenhouse program began in the spring of 2015 with the completion of a 3000 square foot greenhouse and community garden. Participating students experience both the therapeutic and vocational aspects of horticulture. Activities include growing seasonal flowers and vegetables, cultivating and processing hydroponically grown vegetables for the residential houses, seasonal sales at local farmers markets, manage community garden plots, and performing landscaping functions around campus. Additionally students are encouraged to advocate for their own special projects. These have included themed flower gardens, giant vegetables for entrance in local fairs, and individual research projects.
For students in our Briggs transition program and upper level high school who seek vocational training their experience is tailored towards imparting skills that they are most likely to encounter in a variety of trades from agriculture and landscaping to retail sales and customer service. Younger students for which academic goals and building appropriate social relationships are of importance have the opportunity to partake in more scientific and therapeutic horticultural themed activities. These have included soil chemistry testing, plant tissue culture, bonsi making, Christmas holiday workshop making decorations, research using plants as models, and even art lessons incorporating engineering and science. Cultivating students is the goal utilizing plants as the model and catalyst.