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Sprouts Greenhouse seeing an increase in first time gardeners while building partnerships with local nonprofit

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 12:03 AM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

It is the season for planting and a Fremont County greenhouse shared what they have experienced since last year, and what may be causing it. The owner of Sprouts Greenhouse, Griffin Sprout said the pandemic created something of a perfect storm for gardening, with many first time gardeners showing up ready to try their hand at growing their own food.

Sprouts Greenhouse Head Seeder, Ruth Rico stated, “I saw a lot of the growth in vegetables, everything, but especially food.” Sprout explained that food insecurity was one reason for the increase.

“There’s possibility of being supply issues, that’s one thing to think about, but then also that they want to know where my produce is exactly coming from,” Sprout added.

Ruth Rico, the head seeder at Sprouts, said that many of the first time gardeners from last year have been back again this year, and she speculates as to a reason why.

“Kind of made us slow down and a lot of people that had never gardened, started. I think it was a stress reliever, it was very healing. It became a type of sanctuary I believe for a lot of people,” Rico stated.

“It has really got people to think more about gardening, being outside in their own yards, so in that process, gardening nationwide has taken off,” Sprout said.

Sprout says that a lot younger populations of people have been interested, and from all backgrounds. “Quite honestly I don’t care if they buy it from us or anyone else, I just want people to be excited about growing things. It’s exciting to get your hands dirty out in the garden so I encourage people to do that,” emphasized Sprout.

Sprouts has also been partnering with the nonprofit Wind River Grow Our Own for awhile now, nd the greenhouse is working with them again providing garden boxes for additional participants to their program.

Wind River Grow Our Own received the Equality State Research Network, Wyoming Institute of Disabilities grant. The grant was through the University of Wyoming for $17,000. It will enable the nonprofit that encourages food sustainability to allow 75 more gardeners to their program this year.

The nonprofit also used some of the funds to support the local greenhouse in purchasing the additional garden boxes. Wind River Grow Our Own Co-Founder Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk stated, “It’s very important especially for a program that operates on and near the Wind River Reservation. It’s important because as we build these collaborative partnerships with outside communities such as Lander and Riverton, it helps strengthen our community.”

The grant funds will also be used to hire a vista through Action Research International out of Laramie.

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