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Left Foot Is Closing But Our Mission Lives On!


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.

mitzvah.group.beth

Farm Manager, Lydia-Beth (right) and community members from Temple Beth Hatfiloh show off the last winter squash harvest.

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!

Me too

 Hidden in every ending is a new beginning.

 

 

2012 Annual Plant Sale this Weekend!


Left Foot Organics is holding its Annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale Saturday, May 12th from 10am to 3pm.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to purchase all your vegetable and herb starts.  We also have a small selection of Native plants available for purchase.

Buying from Left Foot helps support our program to create jobs and teach employment skills to developmentally disable adults and rural youth.  Come to the farm on Saturday to meet our employees and find the perfect Mother’s Day gift.  Go to our website to see our flyer.

See you Saturday!!

Left Foot Organics Seek Youth to Hire


Needed:  Growing Partners, Ages 16-18

$2255+ in earnings

Growing Partners Needed

 

Left Foot Organics brings together rural high school youth and people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to grow, earn and learn on an organic farm.  Crew members with and without disabilities practice organic growing, business, employment and leadership skills that open up new career possibilities.  They also learn to work as a team, accepting, appreciating and accommodating each other’s differences.   Left Foot cultivates about five acres of certified organic land just south of Tumwater near the Scott Lake community, producing vegetables and flowers for sale in local markets, and for distribution to local food banks and meal programs.

Growing Partner applicants must:

  • Have demonstrated leadership skills or interest and ability in leadership growth
  • Have an interest in being part of an intellectually diverse work community
  • Be between the ages of 16-18 as of April 1, 2012 · Be enrolled in high school
  • Be available to work on Saturdays, 9-12, beginning April 14-June 30 (May 12 Plant Sale work hours are 9-3:30), then Tuesday through Friday from 9:00-3:30 and Saturdays 9-12 beginning July 5 through August31. Growing Partners are employees of LFO and should not request extended vacation time during this period of employment.
  • Have reliable transportation to the farm each work day (applicants can call Rural Transit for options: 800-650-7846)
  • Complete an employment application and return it no later than Friday, March 16, 2012
  • Be available for interview on Saturday, March 24

Hours and Compensation:

  • Saturdays, 9-12, beginning April 9 through Aug 20 (May 12 hours: 9-3:30)

  • Tuesday – Friday, 9-3:30, beginning July 5 through Aug 26

  • $9.04/hr

Growing Partner Position Description and Application are available at: http://www.leftfootorganics.org

To Apply, applications and must be received no later than Friday, March 16, 2012.

Mail to:  Jane Jones, Left Foot Organics, PO BOX 12772, OLYMPIA, WA 98508, or e-mail to work@leftfootorganics.org.

Please contact Jane for additional information.

The Growing Partners Learn to Drive the Tractor


Farm Manager, Lidia Beth, spent Saturday afternoon teaching the Growing Partners how to drive the tractor.  

She showed us how to raise and lower the bucket and spader. 

Then at the high speed of 3 turtle, we each got a turn to drive the tractor in a circle around the field.

Growing Partners Internship Graduation!


The Growing Partners have completed their spring internship. They have worked for 11 Saturdays, totally almost 400 hours of time spent on the farm. They have  learned about transplanting, weeding, growing mushrooms, autism, customer service and marketing.  The youth have also become certified in CPR.  

We at Left Foot are very pleased with the groups dedication and perseverance. We are very excited to offer them all the opportunity to participate in our summer employment program.

The Growing Partners helped prepare for the plant sale.


Painting plant sale signs

 The Growing Partners helped prepare for our Plant Sale which will be held on May 8th. The Plant Sale will be from 10:00- 3:00 pm. Come out to the Farm and support Left Foot by purchasing herb and veggie starts and draught tolerant perennials for your garden.

The Growing Partners’ First Day


Growing Partners hard at work