WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

VIA to Build a New Greenhouse Thanks to Local Restaurants

December 4, 2013

The adult students at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) could soon get the opportunity to grow their own produce thanks to a "Go Green for VIA" campaign.

Two restaurants along the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Petit Pois and Fleurie are a part of the campaign and plan on donating one dollar per every meal sold in the month of December to the institute.

The proceeds raised will go towards a new outdoor classroom and greenhouse for the post high school and adult services program at VIA.

“This greenhouse and this outdoor classroom will enable us to develop opportunities for them to learn valuable skills and create a profitable small microenterprise that can pay them minimum wage or better,” says Matthew Osborne, director of adult programs.

The program at VIA supports adults 18 years and older and with the new greenhouse students will be able to sell whatever they grow.

“We're hoping to grow produce, spices and herbs,” says Osborne. “We're hoping to produce compost that we can make available to local organizations, whether donating it or potentially selling it.”

The owner and chef of Fleurie and Petit Pois, who is helping raise money for the greenhouse, grows wheatgrass for the restaurants and understands the importance of learning how to grow your own produce.

“Farming and gardening is something that I've personally benefited and learned a lot from on the process of growing your own food, “ says Brian Helleburg. “So I'm just hoping to share that with others.”

Once the greenhouse is up and running, Helleberg hopes to buy some of the VIA produce in his own restaurant.

“I would love to, that would be a great end goal for us,” says Helleberg. “I know it's a difficult process, but it's that process that's the enjoyable and educational part of it.”

VIA wants to raise $3,500 dollars to go towards the new greenhouse and hopes to have it completed next year.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 234496121