Accessible Experiential and Vocational Education through Urban Greenhouse Agriculture

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2019: $3,966.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2021
Grant Recipient: REAP Food Group
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Manager:
Matthew Fornoff
REAP Food Group
Project Co-Managers:
Helen Sarakinos
REAP Food Group

Information Products

Feeding the Worm Bin (Manual/Guide)


  • Vegetables: greens (lettuces), peas (culinary), tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: herbs, ornamentals


  • Education and Training: youth education
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: greenhouse production
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, local and regional food systems, partnerships, quality of life, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The greenhouse at East High in Madison, WI sits empty, holding only potential when it should be full of students and flora. REAP Food Group will partner with the school to assist with basic improvement, supplies, and technical assistance. We envision the greenhouse as a place where students – especially those with disabilities – can both learn about growing food in a climate-controlled environment with the help of farmers. Additionally, students will develop life skills, learn how food plays a role in economic development, and engage the broader school community through greenhouse and sustainable agriculture activities.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Garden-based learning will offer an opportunity for special education students to gain valuable skills, including educational support and vocational training. It is also an evidence-based method of helping youth with sensory challenges incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets.

    This project includes three key objectives:

    1. Establish full functionality of the East High School greenhouse for all students, especially those with disabilities and autism.
    2. Use the indoor garden to demonstrate the benefits of seasonally sustainable agricultural projects.
    3. Implement plan to integrate greenhouse plants into multiple entry points within the school, including through consumption and sale by students.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.