BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Top Crops garden on the WKU farm isn't an ordinary garden. The nonprofit works with special needs adults by teaching gardening skills as a way to foster social interaction and give back to the community. 

What You Need To Know

  • Top Crops is a nonprofit farm in Bowling Green that helps adults with special needs

  • The nonprofit sells all harvested fruits and veggies at the farmers market

  • They use gardening as a way to promote independence

  • Family involvement has grown wildly since its start in 2013

John Hamilton and his daughter Stacy have been frequent participants at the garden. Now four year veterans, Hamilton said his daughter's confidence has grown tremendously. 

“Stacy is somewhat shy and introverted," Hamilton said. "It gave her an opportunity to get one-on-one time with the Greers and she has really gotten encouragement from it and looks forward to it.”

The Hamiltons are one of many families picking fruits and vegetables weekly. All grown produce is sold at the community farmers' market each Saturday, and proceeds go back into the garden. 

Carol Greer, along with her husband Bill, started the nonprofit. She said it's a way to help the families learn a new skill as well as gain independence. 

“Our goal is to give as much independence as each gardener can have," Greer said. "We try and teach them and match them with whatever task needs to be done so they can do it as independently as possible."

The garden is located right off of Nashville Road. Greer said gardening happens in the winter and summer and they grow almost any item stores would want.

"We do everything from weeding to watering to gathering of plants," Greer said. "We have squash, cucumbers, zucchini [and] we also do tomatoes, peppers and potatoes."

John said he and Stacy will continue to garden as long as possible. 

“As long as we are able we will bring her out here," Hamilton said. "We are showing signs of age but barring any unforeseen problem, we will be here every Friday.”