The GROW Urban Farmer’s Market expands its footprint in the Valley

YOUNGSTOWN — The skies darkened over the corner of Bissell Avenue and Bryson Street on Youngstown’s North Side; rain was imminent, and Parker Maynard, Flying High Inc.’s GROW Urban Farm director, had to prepare his crops for a possible deluge.

Defending the garden from heat and rain and an exceptionally large groundhog are a few of the challenges that Maynard teaches his clients – who help run the GROW Urban Farm – to overcome.

The skills needed to tackle challenges at work and the acquisition of new skills are among the inedible fruits borne at the garden, which is primarily staffed by individuals recovering from drug addiction.

Prior to entering into one of Flying High’s job training programs, some clients work at the farm to develop soft skills that will help them maintain jobs once they’ve completed their programs. Along they way, they also learn how to garden.

“There’s this assumption that gardening is a low skill, that it’s an easy thing to just pick up and do. That’s incorrect. It’s not as simple as putting a shovel in someone’s hand. Our clients are learning a real skill while they work with us,” Maynard said.

For the complete story, read Tuesday's Vindicator and

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