Farming for Hunger
Our hydroponic farm is located on 1.5 acres of land that is part of a 6.89 acre tract that was donated to The Volunteer Way in 2008 by the Parker family.
The hydroponic farm is a revolutionary method of growing plants without soil which enables us to grow 12 to 16 plants in the space required by one plant in the ground.
Our hydroponic farm produces thousands of pounds of fresh nutritious vegetables every year for the low-income and homeless families in Pasco County who come to our Food Pantry for assistance.
Special Needs Volunteers
The hydroponic farm allows many special needs young men and women to come together for a worthwhile cause of planting and harvesting vegetables for the low income and homeless people that visit The Volunteer Way food bank. These young people come together for a helping, preparing, harvesting and learning environment that they might not otherwise be able to experience.
A group of special need volunteers together on a weekly basis, side by side, learning all of the techniques necessary for the planting, caring for, and harvesting of fresh vegetables. They learn many new things and develop the skills necessary to work together, assist others, and give attention to details. All these volunteers take a lot of pride and satisfaction in seeing firsthand what their hard work and tender loving care can accomplish. The Volunteer Way is very proud to have them as part of our family.
All vegetables are grown organically, and we can grow plants twelve months a year. Hydroponics requires much less water than traditional gardens, and the plants grow faster. This idea of hydroponics is a unique option for food banks which traditionally deal only with non-perishable food. Tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers, and other produce can be grown in pots, one on top of the other, for the entire year. This innovative process provides fresher and healthier food options for the families served by our food pantry.