We are now in our last 2 weeks of the official HCF summer program. While growing a variety of vegetables on 1/8 of an acre of land leased from The Hartsbrook School, we continue to take more steps towards our ultimate goal: To create an integrated and inter-generational farmstead community where people with and without disabilities will live, work and socialize.
A group of approximately 30 people – all ages and all abilities – have come together for the last 2 months to share in this project learning to plant, weed, hoe, stake, and harvest a variety of vegetables. We have acquired new vocational skills and made new friends. Most importantly, we have learned to appreciate what each person can offer to this project. Farmers have been able to take home vegetables, enjoying the fruits of their labor.
We have our first farm stand at Applewood at Amherst, an assisted living community. We will continue to sell vegetables there on Thursdays from 11-1 throughout the month of August. We have taken some of our produce to local food banks, a project we will continue to do after the official programming ends.
Our local newspaper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, will feature an article about our project in August. We hope this will help spread the word to parents of young adults with special needs, farmers, professionals and community members interested in realizing our dream of a truly special farmstead in The Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.