6 hours of
3 hours Face to Face, 3 hours post-workshop
Chuck Lyons, Farm Director, Verde Community Farm and Market
This workshop focuses on the
operations of a non-profit organic farm and market in the South Florida
region that also serves as a job skills training facility. Participants
will tour Verde Gardens with its 145 LEED-certified “green” town homes
for formerly homeless families with disabilities and a 22-acre organic
farm which includes a produce nursery, market and rentable commercial
kitchen. Participants will learn about farm procedures as well as USDA
requirements for organic certification. In addition, participants will
learn about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and how this
agricultural model enhances community engagement as well as shares the
risks and benefits of food production. Finally, participants will
explore this non-profit model , which not only hires and trains at-risk
community members who work at the farm and market, but builds the
infrastructure to support this program, with special consideration for
the residents of Carrfour Supportive Housing's Verde Gardens community.
As a result of this workshop
participants will be able to:
-Describe requirements of a
South Florida farm to achieve USDA organic certification.
-Compare the Community
Supported Agriculture model to a conventional agriculture business
-Assess how integrating an organic farm and sustainable
food system in a supportive housing community contributes to health and
well-being of residents.
-Identify how an organic
farm operated as a non-profit can create a sustainable business model.
-Summarize how Verde Farm
and Market is a vehicle for job skills training and potential employment
will include completion of workshop and participant must develop a
discipline specific lesson plan or course module or –if staff -
department action that incorporates key concepts of sustainability.
Assignment is due to the director of Earth Ethics Institute within
three weeks of the workshop, and lesson plan or course modules will be
posted on the Earth Ethics webpage.
Facilitated by Chuck Lyons
BIO – Chuck
Lyons is the Farm Director of Verde Community Farm and Market. Since
taking the position in fall of 2013 he has transformed Verde Farm into a
fully operational USDA Organic certified fruit and vegetable production
farm. Verde Farm has established a strong customer base in the local
Miami food scene as well as two successful CSA programs. Chuck has been
able to train and employ Verde Gardens – a Carrfour Supportive Housing
Community - residents, who have no prior agricultural experience, to be
the foundation of the Verde Farm staff. Prior to becoming Verde
Community Farm and Market’s Farm Director, Chuck had been working on
successful organic farms in his home state of Wisconsin, Virginia, and
Southwest Florida after obtaining his B.A in Humanity and Nature Studies
from Northland College in Wisconsin. He currently lives in Homestead
with his wife, Sarah, and his son, David.