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S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. and BOCES Announce Tiny Home Project

We are excited to finally announce our collaboration with the three BOCES locations in St. Lawrence County! Together we are constructing tiny homes built by the students at BOCES that will be transported to S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc.'s garden and greenhouse property, which will begin the development of our social farming community.

Each house is a duplex and will provide homes for six separate individuals that are in need of housing in our county, with more on the way next year. Our collaboration with BOCES has been in progress for the last year, and as the houses finally near completion Dave and I got to sit down with Nicki O'Donnell, the principal at BOCES Seaway Career and Technical Center located in Norwood, New York. Listen to our podcast to hear about how the project originated, the social farming model, the obstacles to get it up and running, the benefits that the project provided to S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. and the BOCES programs, and some of the incredible experiences along the way.

Over the winter Dave and I visited visited BOCES in Norwood and were able to visit each of the building trades classes to discuss the project, the mission of S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc., as well as how it ties into the BOCES mission.

In the next podcast Dave and I were able to speak with Larry Ashley, the Building Trades instructor at BOCES Seaway Career and Technical Center, as well as some of the students that are enrolled in his program and that have been working all year to help make our tiny homes become a reality. The BOCES Building Trades classes have been building homes that go up for auction after completion for years, but this year was the first time that the students have ever had the experience of building for a customer... and our tiny homes are going to people that are in need of housing, which added another element to their building project this year. We talked with the students about topic such as SBS and our mission, homelessness, stigma, community service, and why they chose to enroll in BOCES. We were able to have some incredible conversation with the students that day, so make sure you watch for the next episode to hear all the students had to stay!

In our discussion with Nicki we discussed some of the unique hands-on experience that the project allowed the students to have that would better prepare them for employment in the real world.

We are looking forward to getting the tiny homes onto our garden and greenhouse property, and taking the next step in the development of our social farming community! This year is our second year of farm production, and this year we are excited to be establishing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at the SBS greenhouse! We pledge to work hard to harves the hightest quality of food our land will produce, and in return for your investment you receive weekly or bi-weekly shares of vegetables and fruit.

Sign up to receive fresh produce this season!

Our growing season is underway and our anticipated crops this year include:

Shoots, spinach, greens, kale, swiss chard, turnip Greens, peas, radishes, red potatoes, peas, herbs, beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, corn, squash (variety), pumpkins, cabbage, peppers (variety), cauliflower, zucchini, garlic, eggplant, and more!

On Monday, June 17th all of the details will be announced and you can begin signing up to receive fresh produce this summer. There are a limited number of spots available, so make sure to watch for Monday's email with all the details on how to get signed up!

Carrie Woodcock

Director of Wellness and Rehabilitation Services

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1 Comment

Omg this is so great. What a wonderful idea. Thanks to all working hard on these programs to help others in need.

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