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Positively Brazos Valley: A local aquaponic farm is growing more than just organic produce

Posted at 8:14 AM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 13:09:33-04

BRYAN, TX — An aquaponic farm in the Brazos Valley is providing adults with disabilities an outlet to learn important life skills.

The Aquatic Greens Farm is giving adults with disabilities the opportunity to volunteer and learn skills that can help them out in the workforce.

"And you like coming to work here? Absolutely," said Caleb Benner, a volunteer at the AG farm. He along with the other volunteers learn everything under the sun about harvesting.

"From feeding the fish," said Sharon Well, the owner of the Aquatic Greens Farm. "To planting the seeds."

Sharon Wells originally started the AG farm due to health concerns.

"I was trained when I went to college to work with children who had disabilities," Wells explained.

With her experience, it spiraled into what she considers God's calling.

"About two and a half years ago, the two or three that I had out here working has become about 21," said Wells.

Volunteers like Miranda Ferguson have grown confidence beyond the flower beds.

"I think my favorite part is working in the kitchen with Ms. Muriel and definitely helping her with the cookies," said Miranda Ferguson, a volunteer worker. "Knowing that I feel comfortable working in the kitchen with her has helped me learn and taught me so much,"

Owner Sharon Wells is trying to get nonprofit funding soon so she can start paying her volunteers for the work that they do.

"I hope and pray that maybe we can actually with volunteers train them to go out into the community and work with other businesses because some of the skills their learning are really beneficial in lots of different places," Wells added.

Every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, the farm sets up shop at 2861 FM 974, to sell their produce and other items to teaching their volunteers customer service skills.