Local Non-Profit Goes Leafy Green to Support Mission

October 4, 2017 (Taos, NM) -- What do you get when you take a modified freight container, a year-round supply of fresh produce, and non-profit dedicated to creating a safe place for Northern New Mexico’s youth?

The answer, according to DreamTree Project’s Executive Director, Catherine Hummel, is sustainable and dependable funding to support DreamTree’s teen emergency shelter and transitional home.

This month, DreamTree Project announced the launch of DreamTree Farms, the organization’s new social enterprise—that’s business with a social cause—which aims to address both the demands of the community’s growing appetite for local and organic food, while also creating a revenue stream to independently propel the  shelter and DreamTree Apartments into the future.

“It’s simple,” said Hummel. “We will grow, package and distribute produce to local markets and in return create jobs and revenue for DreamTree Project.”

Using an upcycled shipping container, outfitted with a climate system, hydroponic growing system and LED-lights, DreamTree Farms will grow up to 1,000 heads of leafy greens and lettuce, with only 15 to 20 hours of labor, right on the DreamTree Project property on La Posta Road, in Taos.

DreamTree Project has served youth throughout northern New Mexico since 1998. In 2000 they launched DreamTree Apartments, a transitional living program, and in 2011 expanded services to include an Emergency Youth Shelter.

The DreamTree Project Emergency Youth Shelter can accommodate eight residents, ages 12 - 17, for up to 90 days, while staff at DreamTree Project help evaluate the situation and navigate their options.

The Transitional Living Program at DreamTree Project is available to young people ages 16-24. DreamTree Project has capacity for up to 16 youth here who can stay for up to two years.

“We’re thrilled to have a way to raise money for our services, while also raising awareness for our resources and serving the community in a meaningful way,” said Hummel.

Two positions are currently posted for a DreamTree Farm Manager and a DreamTree Farm Sales Manager for the project. For more information visit dreamtreeproject.org.