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Students with autism learn about plant-growing at Three Meadows Farm in Bedminster

Students with autism learn about plant-growing at Three Meadows Farm in Bedminster

Amanda Lee

Apr 11, 2024, 12:35 AM

Updated 46 days ago


From farm fresh to table-ready - all with the help of students learning a special set of skills at a greenhouse in Bedminster.
Hydroponic specialists at Three Meadows Farm consist of students with autism who are learning and growing new skills every day.
Students from Somerset Hills Learning Institute and Princeton Child Development Institute are all a part of growing and selling specialty salads and micro greens.
"The hydroponics is a great match for learners with autism because there’s a routine,” Somerset Hills director Dr. Kevin Brothers told News 12.
On a day-to-day basis, learners are planting seeds and growing and moving plants around from one place to another. Once the plants have grown, they also package them.
Through the whole process, instructors are recording what skills students are picking up on and where the staff can provide additional teaching.
"Weighing out the lettuce or even putting on gloves are all things that we have to teach them how to do,” special education trainer Kelly Wittkop said.
Once everything is packaged, it is sent to local grocery stores and restaurants. This season’s combination of plants is called Paradise Salad. It's a combination of kale, radish and the hydroponic lettuce. The mixes can be found at several local ShopRite locations or on the menu at local restaurants such as Salted Lime Kitchen and Bar in Somerville.

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