In July, Healthy Living Market (Wilton, NY) announced a partnership with the Common Roots Garden (71 Homestead Road, Schuylerville, NY) underneath the non-profit umbrella of AIM Services, Inc & I was so happy to have a chance to take a tour of the area about two weeks ago.
Formed in 1979, AIM Services Inc. “is dedicated to supporting the “power of potential” in people with disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries.” Through community programs, their goal is to educate and further the potential of individuals while helping them achieve personal goals through promoting self-confidence and independence servicing Saratoga, Washington & Warren counties.
Last Fall, Healthy Living Market donated $2,000 to build the Common Roots Garden and Greenhouse this past spring. The purpose of the Common Roots Garden is to contribute to the goals of AIM Services, Inc by creating more opportunities for people with disabilities. Along with donations/discounts from other local companies, they have been able to create a beautiful garden for not just those involved with AIM Services Inc but for the general public as well. Common Roots Garden is accessible to everyone on an annual basis from April to October and funds from selling the produce (available Saturdays from 9am-12pm) will go toward furthering the progress of the garden.
This garden used to be a bit of property not being utilized, covered in large brush. Since then, aside from the large amounts of plants they’ve started from seed, Katie Page (Program Director of Employment Services) told me that they keep finding plants they never grew but were there in the wild. There were apple trees, blueberry bushes, asparagus, wild grapes – all before a seed was even planted. What’s next? They’re going to be expanding with Fall plants, like a pumpkin patch & other root vegetables! I can’t say enough how amazing this is for those working, those with disabilities, those in the community and anyone else involved.
It’s really amazing to see an idea like this & I wish similar companies would follow the same plan. Those with disabilities tend to be looked at differently and sadly, even lesser than others sometimes but with ideas like this one hopefully that stigma can change. I also learned that though they do get help from those with gardening experience, most of the supervisors are learning this craft at the same time. Everyone starts on the same level and learns together watching something they created become something greater and I love that! No one was in the garden while I got the tour but I can only imagine the pride it creates for those involved when you work at something like planting from seed and then seeing what started out as one thing become something even more incredible.