Flowers Cut Weekly
“We like that the Challenge Commercial Cleaning team was willing to work with us on a posted weekly checklist. Anything comes up we leave it for the night crew and it’s taken care of before we return in the morning. Nice communication tool between our management staff and off-hours cleaning crew.”
Ability in Bloom was inspired by one young man, Adam. Adam has been growing flowers and food on a volunteer basis through programs at Challenge since 2008. Adam has tried various jobs at Challenge and in the community, but he is not able to work on his own. What Adam does have are the skills to help grow flowers as part of a larger team. Adam is also an artist whose paintings show a unique vision. His work appears in the logo for our business.
Ability in Bloom launched in 2015 as a means of providing Adam and other Challenge clients who are not ready or able to make the leap into community employment with job skills training and a stable, community- based work opportunity. The workers in this innovative social enterprise are able to use their unique abilities to be productive members of a team. Employees of Ability in Bloom work out in the field and at sales locations to produce beautiful flowers. Some of our employees may move on to other jobs or stay as permanent members of the team.
This year, we have formed a partnership with Take Your Pick Flower Farm in Lansing, NY. We aim to show that employing workers with disabilities can help small businesses expand while maintaining a healthy bottom line.
Currently, we grow flowers at the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming Incubator Farm at Ecovillage and at the Ithaca Community Garden. Next year, we will grow at the Incubator Farm while transitioning our operations to a permanent location.