When Ann Vandemann founded Left Foot Organics in 2001, nobody knew how many lives would be changed or how many seasons the farm would weather. Over the past twelve years Left Foot has grown from season to season to meet the needs of our customers and community. Our employment program for the disabled was the hallmark of our farm and together with our training program for youth, individuals learned job skills and farming while being paid. Furthermore, our interaction with the community via volunteer opportunities, market sales and our CSA program, made Left Foot a much-loved organization. And so it is with great regret that the board and staff must now announce the closing of Left Foot Organics as of February 2013.
These are difficult times for many small nonprofits across the country; an ever increasing demand on a shrinking base of philanthropic gifts has caused funding shortages for many organizations.
Although farm production and sales flourished, it wasn’t enough to fund our social programs which require substantial staff and facilities as compared with a for-profit farm. In addition, much of our equipment and buildings need extensive repair. LFO simply does not have the capital to meet these and other financial obligations this year.
The Left Foot staff wish to express our collective gratitude to every individual who donated money, resources or time to help fulfill our mission. Left Foot has always enjoyed strong community support. Over the years, literally thousands of individuals worked side by side with people with developmental disabilities or purchased the produce they grew. Together we learned the importance of sustainable and organic farming in an inclusive environment where everybody was valued. In keeping with the spirit of the organization, we hope that you will carry our mission of inclusion into your own lives. We encourage you to continue your support of local, organic farming by joining another CSA, buying organic produce and shopping at farmer’s markets. Although left Foot Organics is closing, it will remain in the hearts of those who worked our fields and shared our vision. We did a lot of work with a lot of love these past twelve years, but everything must come to an end at some time. And so Left Foot closes the same way it opened: with gratitude and respect!