Nearly 65,000 people face hunger in Clark County, Washington, the backyard of our Hawthorne Gardening Company’s world headquarters.
As gardeners and growers, our associates knew there was a unique opportunity for them to help their hungry neighbors. And they wanted to do something about it.
So, on July 21, Hawthorne opened the doors to a 4,000 square-foot hydroponic greenhouse on the company’s grounds. The greenhouse will be used to grow healthy food, such as greens, tomatoes, and peppers, year-round, with all of the fresh produce donated to local hunger-fighting organizations.
Chris Hagedorn, Executive Vice President and Division President for Hawthorne, said the greenhouse provides a special place for associates to give back and contribute to the greater good.
“Our hydroponic greenhouse will fill a unique niche in the community. We’re able to utilize innovative growing technologies to provide local produce to those who need it most.”
Crops will be grown hydroponically in the greenhouse, meaning “in a non-soil environment,” using some of Hawthorne’s latest product innovations in indoor lighting, growing media and nutrients. The greenhouse will be maintained daily by our Hawthorne associates, who will volunteer to harvest and deliver the produce to the Clark County Food Bank.
“A big challenge for food banks is securing fresh, healthy produce, and that’s especially true in places like Vancouver where the outdoor growing season is relatively short,,” said Hagedorn. “But our new greenhouse will enable us to provide both heat-loving crops, like tomatoes, as well as nutritionally dense leafy greens to the community all year long.”
Our associates set a goal to provide 10,000 pounds of vegetables to the community in the first year of production and plan to expand production and community partners in the future. The project is personal for many Hawthorne associates as the greenhouse will be dedicated to a beloved colleague who passed away in 2020 from COVID-19.
The new greenhouse builds on Hawthorne and ScottsMiracle-Gro’s long-standing commitment of investing in local communities and bettering people’s lives through gardening and growing.