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Thursday, Jun 7, 2012

Garden Sale highlights end of another successful school year at Berkshire

Students participating in the Nursery/Landscaping course of our Workforce Development Program certainly worked hard to raise beautiful flowers and healthy plants for our annual Garden Sale this year. Held in May at our greenhouses on the Canaan campus, the Garden Sale was a kind of "final project" for the boys, who take well-deserved pride in the care they've given the plants and in the skills they've learned. They also took very good care of the hundreds of customers who visited the campus to stock up for their home gardens.

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Berkshire youth take great care in growing flowers and vegetables for the annual Garden Sale, held every May.

The Garden Sale is a popular fundraising event for Berkshire and draws people from surrounding communities. It features thousands of garden-ready plants at reasonable prices, including annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, and pre-planted window boxes. Admission is free, and in addition to the plant sale, the event also includes a bake sale and tag sale of donated items. 

Timothy Giacchetta, the CEO of Berkshire Farm Center, says the Garden Sale is a wonderful way to include youth who reside on campus in a major project that shows them that hard work can yield a real sense of accomplishment as well as tangible rewards for the programs helping them.  "It also helps them see and feel connected to the local community," added Giacchetta, who says community service and a sense of belonging is important at Berkshire Farm Center.

Bruce Wood, the Director of the Horticulture Program at Berkshire, says the plants at the Garden Sale are the result of months of hard work by the youth in the program. “The youth who work here gain marketable skills they can use when looking for employment in their home communities,” added Wood.

All proceeds raised from the event benefit the youth participating in Berkshire Workforce Development Program. Berkshire Farm Center is one of New York State’s leading non-profit child welfare agencies and has been strengthening children, families, and communities for more than 125 years. Berkshire’s programs provide life-changing experiences for youth, and the Workforce Development program has far-reaching effects for participants as they learn how to get--and keep--good jobs that lead to successful careers.

In addition to learning general job-seeking skills such as preparing attention-getting resumes and impressing prospective employers during job interviews, Berkshire's students gain valuable skills in specific areas. Among these are Automotive Mechanics, Building Trades, Information Technology, and a special Small Business & Entrepreneurial Program that will provide hands-on, real-world experience in a variety of businesses.

More about Berkshire's Workforce Development Program will be featured in future Berkshire e-newsletters.

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