Delmarva Works trainees learning horticulture skills

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
From the left, Thad Borz, Isaac Sherwood, Lucky Ritch and Jimmy Walters are learning about horticulture at Delmarva Works, a training facility of Delmarva Community Services, Inc., for individuals with developmental disabilities.

CAMBRIDGE — There’s just something about living, growing plants that sparks a person’s imagination and enthusiasm. A group of local individuals with developmental disabilities have discovered that and are using the greenhouse at Delmarva Works to learn job skills and to gain life experiences.

The site is located at 1000 Goodwill Ave. in Cambridge. The facility is a division of Delmarva Community Services, Inc., a non-profit human services agency.

Delmarva Works’ Horticulture Training Center offers a mentored program designed to give individuals opportunities to obtain competitive employment in fields related to horticulture and greenhouse operations.

Many annual flowers, vegetables and herbs are ready for sale through the hard work of the trainees.
“We have two farmers’ markets we attend,” instructor Susan Sanger said. “We’re still seeding new plants.”
This spring features a new venture for the horticulture crew — outdoor raised garden beds. Volunteers teamed up with the crew to install several beds outside the greenhouse, so an increased variety and quantity of produce can be grown for the markets.

During the holidays, the trainees with make Frasier fir wreaths, table centerpieces and swags.
The programs’ participants will also travel within the local area to visit and learn vocational skills from mass-production greenhouses, local produce stands, farms and tours and other businesses. “The horticulture crew also partnered this year with the Dorchester Career and Technical Center through Dorchester County Public Schools to cooperate on many learning activities and vocational ventures,” a prepared statement from the center said. “These partnerships in the community have been valuable experiences for the individuals, and along with their hard work at the greenhouse and gardens, make for a very beneficial program.”

Members of the crew are selling plants at the Cambridge Farmers’ Market at Long Wharf every Thursday from 3-6 p.m., and the Centreville Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. Flowers, herbs and more are also available for sale daily at Delmarva Works from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

To learn more about the program, call 410-221-6265, or e-mail Susan@dcsdct.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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