BOS Development, LLC, in collaboration with The Village Hilltop Foundation, is set to embark on a groundbreaking initiative titled "Farming it Forward" in Wilmington, Delaware. This visionary project involves the launch of two pilot vertical farm projects that aim to bring about positive changes in the local community. Through strategic partnerships and a comprehensive curriculum, the initiative seeks to catalyze social, intellectual, emotional, physical, environmental, vocational, spiritual, and financial well-being.
Beatrice Sibblies Founder of BOS Development, LLC, states that the first pilot project will find its home at the Bayard School, serving K-8 students from a diverse urban community on Wilmington's west side. The second pilot project will be located at the DNA Center, a former church property on South Jackson and Linden, where it will expand its culinary entrepreneurship training program with the addition of a mobile vertical farm and horticulture therapy program.
The primary objective of these pilot projects is to foster "Community Wellness" by utilizing urban "Agri-Culture" as a powerful catalyst for positive impact on multiple levels, including social, intellectual, emotional, physical, environmental, vocational, spiritual, and financial dimensions. Leveraging cutting-edge agricultural technology, thoughtfully designed curricula, and inspiring built environments, the initiative seeks to achieve several key goals: inspire a passion for nature and agriculture, foster interest in STEM and culinary arts education, provide diverse career pathways, introduce horticulture therapy programs, supporting individuals with special needs, and lifelong learning opportunities.
The curriculum for these projects will be organized around the agricultural life cycle, consisting of five key cycles: planting the seed, germination, preparing the soil, nurturing the growth, and reaping the harvest. The project is aimed to introduce students to plant biology, nutrition, sustainable farming, and automation through hands-on activities, regular visits to the vertical farm, and continuous evaluation will be key components of the program.
The DNA Center Pilot will collaborate with the DNA Center for program design and operation, Farm Box Foods for the mobile vertical farm system. This holistic program will integrate culinary arts, agriculture, and therapy concepts, provide life skills development for various demographics, and host workshops on drug recovery, PTSD, reintegration, and specialized sessions for senior citizens. Ongoing monitoring will ensure participant progress, mental well-being, and skill acquisition.
These projects are designed for scalability and replication in other urban centers and educational institutions. Detailed curriculum materials, technical specifications for hydroponic and vertical farming equipment, workshop guidelines for therapy and life skills sessions, and impact assessment tools will all be documented to facilitate future endeavors.
The pilot vertical farm projects represent a bold and innovative approach to achieving various educational, therapeutic, and community-building objectives. Through a dynamic combination of curriculum and agricultural technology, these initiatives aim to inspire innovation, promote sustainability, and contribute to creating career pathways into modern and traditional agriculture, and the holistic development of the communities they serve.
“Agriculture has been at the core of building communities throughout the ages, it sustains our way of life, builds community wealth, and historically has been the focus for celebrations,” says Beatrice Sibblies “We strive to merge modern design and development with age-old traditions that define our culture, building the platform for an inclusive and sustainable future.”
"Food sovereignty in urban communities is one of the greatest, yet overlooked challenges of our nation. Village Hilltop Foundation's multi-faceted approach will help build communities and create positive outcomes as it relates to wellness, job creation, and nutrition. We are thrilled to partner with BOS Development and Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker on this very important work." says Johnita Mizelle Chair of Village Hilltop Foundation
Wilmington, Delaware, is poised to witness transformative changes in the realms of education, wellness, and community empowerment, thanks to the visionary "Farming it Forward" initiative led by the BOS Development, LLC in collaboration with The Village Hilltop Foundation.
Contact: Beatrice Sibblies
Email: [email protected]