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Volunteer Spotlight: Kye and Eva!


Left Foot Organics  would like a to introduce you to two very special individuals. Out of the 700 or so volunteers who generously offer their time and talents to Left Foot each year, there are many who make a commitment and become regulars at the farm. This season we have been blessed with several very dedicated volunteers who turn out  week after week, rain or shine, to work with us. Today I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge two extraordinary Left Foot volunteers: Kye Bartsch and Eva Fitz.

Kye harvesting and bunching cilantro.

Kye Bartsch heard about us from a family member and started volunteering with us in June. Kye quickly distinguished himself as a reliable worker and great guy to have around. He was offered and decided to accept a position as a Work Share CSA member and began coming every Thursday to work in exchange for his weekly box of veggies.  Kye arrives bright and early each Thursday morning to harvest crops for our CSA shares  and works until 5:30 with our Farm Production Assistant, Breezy Medina. Kye is well known for his sense of humor; after long hours of picking green beans he has been known to have attacks of  “Bean Fever”  a condition causing hilarity and extreme silliness to ensue, but don’t  think that means he isn’t a hard worker! LFO Grower, Joe Hocker, had this to say about Kye, “He has an excellent work ethic and has been a good leader for me and other Growers. I enjoy working with him. Kye works hard.” Kye is quick with a smile and full of anecdotes and life stories. We are fortunate to have him and are thankful for his contribution.

Eva beneath the drying garlic.

There is no such thing as a typical Left Foot volunteer; they come from diverse backgrounds and with varying abilities. Take Eva Fitz, for example. Eva is a senior citizen who grew up in Germany and was trained in gardening there. She is a veteran volunteer who is deeply committed to giving back to her community. She has volunteered in Washington, D.C. working in greenhouses; in Bellingham, WA, grooming Service Dogs; and at Panorama City’s Convalescent Center.  Eva is incredibly fit and strong; when she isn’t volunteering at LFO she is off hiking in the mountains or having other adventures. Eva comes to the farm every Friday morning to work side by side with our Growers and Crew in the fields, offering both guidance and comaraderie. Eva told me she likes to come to Left Foot for the chance to work outside and to spend time with the friends she has made here. We value her for who she is, the work she does, and the richness she brings to our community farm.

To find out how you can become our next volunteer super star contact the Left Foot Volunteer Coordinator at 360.754.1849

by Sky Myers
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Why “Left Foot” Organics?


I am often asked why our farm is called Left Foot Organics, so I thought I would take a moment to relay the story here.  When the farm was founded in 2001, the name Left Foot was adopted from an inspirational film made in 1989 by the talented  director, Jim Sheridan and starred the brilliant young actor, Daniel Day Lewis. My Left Foot is the true story of Christy Brown, a child with crippling cerebral palsy born into a poor Irish family.  Christy is able to move only his left foot and speaks in nearly unintelligible, guttural sounds. His mother, recognizing her son’s intelligence, helps Christy to master basic physical activities and educates him. Christy eventually develops into a brilliant painter and author using only his left foot to write and paint. There is an especially touching scene in which the neighborhood kids are playing a game of football (soccer), and they bring Christy out to participate in the game and kick the ball. It was this scene, as the story goes, that inspired our founder to name the farm Left Foot Organics in the spirit of inclusion.

Inclusion is an important part of our mission; we hire individuals with developmental disabilities and offer them meaningful, paid, year round employment. These employees are referred to as Growers here on the farm and they are an integral part of our workforce.  In addition to our paid Growers, Left Foot also serves individuals with disabilities from our community in other ways. We partner with organizations such as Morningside to offer a variety of volunteer experiences for people with disabilities. Lannes Frazier is one  such individual. Lannes was raised on a farm and had a strong desire to work in a farm environment. Lannes comes out every week with an aide and assists with preparing our eggs for sale and does some cleaning in our farm kitchen. Lannes, who volunteers with two other organizations as well, told me he absolutely loves to come to the farm and work around the chickens. Lannes has been volunteering with us for over a year now, and we certainly enjoy his smiling face and enthusiasm.


Another way we impact individuals with disabilities is by offering educational opportunities through our partnership with the Thurston County Parks and Recreation’s Specialized Recreation Program. Last week we hosted a group of seven individuals who came out to learn about organic farming practices and our employment program. The group toured the farm learning about chicken care, composting, and starting, transplanting and weeding crops. Joe Hocker, one of our experienced Growers, discussed his job duties and answered questions. Participants then went into the fields to harvest three varieties of beans, zucchini and to dig up a some red potatoes. We then prepared a farm fresh meal from their harvest and shared lunch outdoors. Everybody received a lovely bouquet of flowers to take home with them.

Though we can only hire a limited number of Growers, through programs like these we are able to impact a greater number of individuals with disabilities. We believe it is crucial to emphasize the value of local, organic food while demonstrating a work environment that is truly inclusive, but we cannot do it without the greater support from our community.  How can you support our program?  We always need volunteers to work with us, and we also take cash and in kind donations. Call the farm for more information (360)754.1849

And stay tuned for details on our upcoming Fun Farm Formal on September 29th; we would love to include you among our supporters! Until then, keep eating your veggies!

by Sky Myers, Volunteer Program Coordinator

We Love Volunteers!


We can never get enough of them!  Left Foot relies on the work of dedicated volunteers to supplement the work of our growers.  An estimated 45% of the work done on the farm is completed by faithful,  generous community members who want to support the mission and vision of Left Foot.  Please gather your family and friends and come to the farm to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.  It is fun and you will be glad you did it!  We will be too.

LFO Volunteer Spotlight


Meet Seth Miller, a loyal volunteer at Left Foot since early August 2011.  Seth faithfully rides his bicycle to the farm 4 days a week to work with our crew members.  He has also helped out with the Tumwater Farmers Market several times and tabled the Capital Campus Combined Fund Drive event for us this year.  His dedication and reliable donation of time has been invaluable this fall as we worked through the busy harvesting season.   Here are a few words from Seth about his volunteer experience  over the past few months:

“My wife and I moved to Tumwater at the end of June for her new job with the Tumwater School District.  We began shopping at the Tumwater Farmers Market where I found out about Left Foot and I began to follow the farm’s Facebook page.  When a call went out for volunteers for a Wednesday morning in early August I decided I could help out while I was still in the process of looking for a new job.  I’ve been out almost every weekday morning since to help out.

 One of my favorite things about volunteering at the farm is that there is always something new to learn.  Though I spent many of my morning’s only harvesting zucchini and beans this summer I have appreciated the opportunity to learn about the lifecycle of a farm.

Since I have spent so many mornings at the farm, I have been able to better get to know some of the growers.  I really appreciate that I am often asked how my wife is enjoying her job or about my bike ride to the farm.  It has made for a very welcoming and inclusive work environment.  I enjoy how a farm offers jobs of all varying ability levels.  Even though I only have minimal experience gardening, it seems like there is always something I can do to help out.”

Thank you, Seth for being such a good friend to the farm and wonderful role model for us all.  Your time and contributions are very much appreciated.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for a memorable and fulfilling volunteer experience call Jill, the Volunteer Coordinator at 754-1849 for more information.