Healthy Communities expands with greenhouse in Dayton

In 2010, the nonprofit Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and the Counties of Storey began working strategically to improve our local food system to provide food to residents in need in our communities. Today, after more than a decade of working in the area of ​​food safety, Healthy Communities is poised to once again expand its efforts in the western Nevada region. The nonprofit now operates the greenhouse that was the former home of Dayton Valley Aquaponics. Healthy Communities staff and volunteers are actively preparing the building to grow food. The program is part of the Healthy Communities Rural Health and Nutrition Initiative.

The greenhouse building was previously operated as an aquaponics facility, but there will be no more fish as part of the operation. Volunteers worked hard to transition from beds to soil from Full Circle compost and plant seeds and get started in the facility. Healthy Communities hopes the 25,000 square foot greenhouse will serve as a regional food hub. The short-term goal is to grow fresh produce for farmers’ markets, local restaurants and the three Healthy Communities pantries.

Longer-term plans for the building include expanding the existing prep space into a community commercial kitchen, offering cooking and food preservation classes with the agency’s SNAP-Ed program, internships for high school students and organizing workshops for community members and students to learn. how to grow their own gardens at home.

“While we have undertaken many activities to improve food security and sustainability in our region, it is time to do more,” says Cortney Bloomer, Food Systems Manager at Healthy Communities. “This is why we are working to improve our food system for rural Nevadans. The challenges facing our neighbors demand that we continue to find new solutions to improve access to food. “

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