FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It’s produce with a purpose. CASS Gardens is now selling its first harvest.
WANE 15 showed you back in May when the greenhouses inside shipping containers were first started. It’s an offshoot of CASS Housing, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live independently.
The vegetables are cared for by three of the CASS House residents and teaches them new skills as well as offers a way for them to earn money.
“Only 34 percent of folks with intellectual disabilities are employed,” David Buuck, executive director of CASS Housing, said. “As we looked at different programs that we wanted to offer, we said ‘creating jobs is going to be a big part of the quality of life.’ So we came across this idea about a year ago and thought it would be an incredible opportunity.”
According to CASS Gardens’ website, in 2020 CASS Housing was introduced to Freight Farms in Boston which converts shipping containers into hydroponic gardens. CASS Gardens currently has two shipping containers that grow a variety of vegetables.
“We really started off with produce that most folks were going to like: romaine, butterhead lettuce, arugula… things like that. The one wild card that we encourage everyone to try is called scarlet frills. It is a mustard green with a real taste of wasabi,” Buuck said.
CASS Gardens is holding a block party on July 31 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. where guests can tour the garden, see a house that is under construction and sign up for a CASS Community Supported Agriculture membership and get guaranteed weekly produce deliveries. There will also be music and food trucks. CASS Gardens is located at 426 Constance Ave. in Fort Wayne.
CLICK HERE to purchase the produce from the first harvest. The deadline to order is Wednesday, July 7.
“So we have limited quantities of different produce right now. If something says ‘sold out’ it’s not necessarily that that thing was sold out for this first round, but those are things that will be coming in the coming weeks,” says David Buuck, executive director of CASS Housing.