about who we are
In 2010, a few parents of special needs young adults were hit with a question, “What’s next for my child after high school graduation?” Unfortunately, the answer was, “there really isn’t much.”
Special Growers was launched to provide a work opportunity for their children and other adults with special needs. With the support of many community partners and individuals, a safe and inclusive work environment has been developed for our disabled staff to learn job skills, gain confidence, and prepare for their future careers.
Today, Special Growers employs 4o year-round disabled staff, 2 garden managers, and 14 dedicated volunteers. With these talented team members, we work hard to harvest, prep, and deliver fresh herbs and fresh cut flowers to local restaurants in Maryville and Knoxville. You probably have been to many of our restaurants and tasted the bounty of our labor!
While working at our garden, our disabled staff members create a social bond with their peers and managers by performing multiple jobs including plant bed preparation, seeding, planting, harvesting, watering, and weeding. They work independently with minimal assistance from others to complete these tasks. If you ever have a chance to visit our garden, you will notice a sense of pride and fulfillment from our staff.
Special Growers is a program of Special Opps, Inc, a 501c3 Tennessee Corporation with the mission of “providing job training and employment opportunities to disabled adults in Blount County ''.