Employees of Vancouver-based subsidiary of ScottsMiracle-Gro will grow fresh vegetables hydroponically year-round for local food pantries and food banks.
To help combat the hunger facing thousands of their fellow neighbors, The Hawthorne Gardening Company, a subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, today announced that it has opened the doors to a 4,000 square-foot greenhouse on the grounds of the company’s world headquarters in Vancouver, Washington. The greenhouse will be used to grow healthy food, such as greens, tomatoes, and peppers, year-round for local hunger-fighting organizations.
Nearly 65,000 people face hunger in Clark County alone. Hawthorne is committed to helping decrease this number by providing more locally-grown fresh food for their neighbors in need. The greenhouse will be maintained daily by Hawthorne employees, who will volunteer to harvest and deliver the produce to local food banks and pantries. Employees set a goal to provide 5,000 pounds of vegetables to their community in the first year of production.
“Our hydroponic greenhouse will fill a unique niche in the community,” said Chris Hagedorn, Executive Vice President and Division President of Hawthorne. “We’re able to utilize Hawthorne’s innovative growing technologies to provide fresh, local produce to those who need it most. The outdoor growing season is relatively short in Vancouver, which can make it difficult to grow certain crops outdoors. But the new greenhouse will enable us to provide both heat-loving crops, like tomatoes, as well as nutritionally dense leafy greens to the community all year long.”
Crops will be grown hydroponically in the greenhouse, meaning “in a non-soil environment,” using some of Hawthorne’s latest product innovations in indoor lighting, growing media and nutrients. All of the plants will be provided by Hawthorne’s partner Bonnie Plants. Hawthorne will donate its produce to the Clark County Food Bank in its first year and plans to expand production and community partners in the future.
“Clark County Food Bank is excited to collaborate with The Hawthorne Gardening Company, and we look forward to the more versatile and abundant fresh food their team will provide for those facing hunger in our community,” said Phoebe Conrad, Community Outreach for Clark County Food Bank. “It is inspiring to see dedication and community involvement like Hawthorne’s, and the food bank is grateful for their desire to help and the opportunity to learn from them during this process.”
The new greenhouse builds on Hawthorne and ScottsMiracle-Gro’s long-standing commitment of investing in local communities and bettering people’s lives through gardening and growing. The project is personal for Hawthorne associates as the greenhouse will be dedicated to a beloved colleague who passed away in 2020 from COVID-19.