GiveChoose 2019 is
Tuesday, May 7
GiveChoose
GiveChoose 2019 is
Tuesday, May 7
GiveChoose 2019 is
May 07, 2019

A Farm Less Ordinary

Goal: $6,000.00

Specific Need

We are a small organization that has experienced some dramatic and wonderful changes over the last couple of years. In 2018, we employed 13 part-time Growers with ID/DD, from across Northern Virginia, up from 8 in 2017, and 5 in 2016. We plan to grow those numbers, along with more vegetables, in 2019!

 

Our focus with our Growers is to encourage habits, social skills, and behaviors that can be used in any work setting. As with employees in any job, expectations are set and conveyed for the components of each task to be completed. Things as simple as arriving to work on time and putting away tools when finished, and as complex as making change on during a busy shift at the Farmers’ Market, are all seen as learning opportunities.

Each Grower successfully completes a job interview. They have specific responsibilities and measurable goals. They are paid for their work, and wages increase as those goals are met.  Their skills arise from tasks related to farming, producing “value added” products, and working at Farmers’ Markets. 

 

In 2018, we built an enormous greenhouse, so that we can employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities year round. Our greenhouse also means that we will be able to grow more produce to use in our new line of value-added goods. Our employees learn food safety and preparation skills, while making pickles, jams, and pesto sauce, which they get to sell at the Wednesday Leesburg Farmers Market, the Leesburg Flower Show, and the Bluemont Fair.

 

While our goal is to employ as many people as possible, we would also be grateful if someone would be willing to donate a larger tractor - over 33 horsepower - to our organization, since some jobs are simply too hard for humans to do on their own.

  • $5,000 covers the cost of employing one adult with intellectual disabilities during the growing season.
  • $3,500 will allow us to replace our hoop house (damaged during the March wind storm)
  • $1,000 pays for 100 raspberry or blueberry plants our employees will harvest to create jams for sale year-round
  • $540 buys two rolls of landscape fabric needed to fight weeds
  • $250 covers the cost of one paycheck to a Grower with an intellectual disability
  • $120 feeds 10 chickens and 2 goats each month
  • $90 covers the cost of gas to deliver our vegetables to five locations between Berryville and Washington, DC each week
  • $65 pays for 50 seed plug trays in which we start our seedlings each spring
  • $25 buys 5 packets of tomato seeds

Mission

We are a farm, a community, a tribe. We are part of a movement to create job opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. Help us get people out of their houses and into paying, meaningful jobs. Help us give people the support they need and the respect they deserve as contributing members of our society. We provide employment and a welcoming community to adults with intellectual disabilities, while sustainably growing organic vegetables. We sell these vegetables through the Wednesday Leesburg Farmers Market and through weekly CSA deliveries to Berryville, Purcellville, Middleburg, Leesburg, Ashburn, Falls Church, and Capitol Hill. 

Profile

A Farm Less Ordinary (AFLO) is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to provide employment and a welcoming community to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, while sustainably growing organic vegetables for the Washington, DC area. We deliver our produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, bringing weekly boxes of freshly harvested vegetables to members in Berryville, Leesburg, Middleburg, and Capitol Hill, DC for 15 weeks each growing season. We also partner with Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) to provide fresh, nutritious produce to low-income families in Loudoun County. In 2018, we plan to employ 12 Growers in 2018. Our Growers have a range of disabilities, including autism, dyslexia, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and mental illness. By encouraging self-advocacy and independent decision-making among our Growers, and by expecting them to come to the farm on-time and complete their work, our growers sharpen the skills they will need to work anywhere. Each week, we send our growers home with whatever is being harvested so they can make the connection between their work and the tangible, edible results of that hard work.

Contact

73 Providence Lane
Bluemont VA 20135
Phone: 202-378-4099

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