After college, I along with many of my friends/peers, ventured west to give ski bumming a try. I learned that ski bumming is not difficult – what’s difficult is leaving a mountain town after a winter of ski bumming. Three years later and I still live in Park City and one of my good friends still lives in Jackson Hole. Neither of us have any plans to leave our respective ski towns any time soon.
It’s nice to have a counterpart in Jackson mainly because we check in with one another daily to get a complete snow report. Now that the mountains are closing for the season and we don’t have snowfall to account for, I asked my friend, what is good in Jackson these days? Her answer pleasantly surprised me. The town of Jackson Hole will soon be home to a three story sustainable greenhouse that “will provide year round inclusive employment for our citizens with disabilities, while reinventing sustainable agriculture in a cold climate.”
In researching the project, Vertical Harvest, I learned the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in Wyoming is at a staggering 78% and a lot of the people behind the project have friends and family members with disabilities. Foodies are stoked about Vertical Harvest too, because the produce grown at the green house will not force consumers to choose between organic and local come the winter months. Jackson will have its own source of organic and local produce year round. Many restaurants in the area are committed buyers and a small retail store front will give consumers the opportunity to purchase produce directly from the greenhouse.
This project is bringing a lot of firsts to Jackson Hole and more importantly sheds light onto the innovation possible in mountain towns. It looks like Jackson’s ski bums are movers and shakers…
- Laura Daly, Marketing Team