Growth at St. Matthew’s House can occur in surprising, often unexpected ways. Our reach across Southwest Florida can put us in contact with individuals, businesses, and communities of all different types, and it is through these relationships, that new ideas take form. When we work together, we grow. Most recently, an opportunity like this presented itself in the form of a local Boy Scout named Robert C. Brown IV and hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a subset of farming that uses a small, soil-less environment to yield a large amount of plants. In fact, plants grown in hydroponic gardens will mature up to 25% faster and produce up to 30% more than the same plants grown in soil. Hydroponic farms are used throughout the world: in developing countries, commercial farms, and home gardens. Many look to hydroponics as the future of farming. Brown, in pursuit of his Eagle Scout, led his project to the Port LaBelle Inn and Conference Center, helping strengthen our agricultural initiative and provide meaningful work and skills for the men and women in our programs.
During a tour of the new project, President and CEO of St. Matthew’s House, Vann Ellison said, “We are always looking to improve the quality of our programs. It is a joy for us to be good stewards of the resources we have in LaBelle.”
Founded in 2013 with the purchase of the Port LaBelle Inn and Conference Center, the St. Matthew’s House agricultural program exists to provide a sustainable and nutritional food source for the residents in its care. It is the goal of St. Matthew’s House to see this program effectively producing 60% of the food needed by residents of the Justin’s Place Recovery Programs, Campbell Lodge, and the Immokalee Friendship House, as well as visitors to the feeding ministry in Naples. St. Matthew’s House aims to restore the lives of the men and women they serve by demonstrating good stewardship of the land they possess.
Harvest Day at Port LaBelle Inn and Conference Center
Our 4th Annual Harvest Day at the Port LaBelle Inn & Retreat Center is a family-friendly event celebrating the work of the St. Matthew’s House Agricultural Program. On Saturday, March 23rd from 10 AM to 2 PM, enjoy educational tours of the gardens, harvest vegetables, and pickle your own cucumbers while learning about our seed to table concept and how it relates to recovery and transformation of men and women in our Justin’s Place Recovery Program.
Free admission and free buffet lunch from 12 PM to 1 PM sponsored by Sprout Catering.
This year’s Harvest Day includes:
- Agricultural Tours
- Cucumber Pickling
- Bounce House
- Face Painting
- Food Concessions
- Hay Rides
- Fresh Vegetables
- Thumbprint Art
- Live Music
Join us for a fun day at Port LaBelle Inn & Retreat Center!
1563 Oxbow Drive,
LaBelle, FL 33935