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A New Way to Feed the Hungry

Left Foot offers a new way to eliminate hunger in our community!

CWU student intern, George Nigro, shows off a weekly CSA share.

We realize that some of our market and co-op customers are not aware of our nonprofit status or the social programs we offer; they simply love our exceptional produce. Others support Left Foot because of our mission to provide employment for people with intellectual disabilities and for local youth. What most people may not be aware of is that Left Foot is also dedicated to bringing quality organic produce to the needy and ending hunger in our community. We have been a contributor to the Thurston County Food Bank for many years and donate produce each week. There are, however, thousands of senior citizens who live rurally or are homebound. Left Foot’s newest community partner, Senior Services for South Sound addresses this need through the Senior Nutrition Program (SNP) which provides over 80,000 nutritious meals to 2,400 seniors each year in Thurston County alone.

Seniors are too often undervalued in our society and, during the winter months especially, can feel isolated. SNP brings much needed social interaction as well as nutritious meals to those who may be lonely and in need. For some individuals, their Meals on Wheels (MOW) volunteer driver is the only person that they will see for that day or week.

While the SNP budget allows only $1.40 per meal, making it nearly impossible to purchase all of their produce locally and organically, they continually seek new ways to support local farmers while serving the highest quality food to seniors. Enter Left Foot Organics!  We have already begun building a partnership with SNP by offering fresh organic produce at reduced prices, but we would like to do much more. This is where YOU come in. We are asking our community of LFO supporters to consider purchasing a CSA share to donate to the Senior Nutrition Program. Our goal is to subsidize our remaining ten CSA shares for local seniors in need.

Our dedicated crew, work rain or shine to bring top quality veggies to our community.

This is the time of year where many of us pause to count the blessings in our lives, open our hearts a little wider, and find opportunities to give back to our community in a meaningful way. If you are unable to donate a full or half share, consider making a one-time (or monthly) contribution to help offset SNP’s purchase of our produce.  Contact us at the farm (360- 754-1849)  to pledge your support to end hunger in our community. Or visit the Left Foot Organics web page to donate online. Help us to help those who need it most. No gift is to great or too small; together we can make a difference!

About Senior Services for South Sound

Friends enjoy an SNP meal and some social time at the Olympia Senior Center.

Senior Services for South Sound is a private, tax-exempt corporation governed by a volunteer board. Established in 1973, the Agency provides comprehensive services to seniors and disabled adults in Thurston and Mason County. Their mission is to celebrate the lives of older adults and their families by providing an array of services that help seniors remain vital and independent in the community.

The Meals on Wheels program provides frail, homebound seniors with 5-7 nutritious meals each week. In 2011 MOW served 42,350 meals to 327 seniors in Thurston County. Our MOW volunteers often take the time to visit with seniors and will report suspected abuse, neglect or self-endangerment to APS as appropriate. On more than one occasion, drivers have found a senior in distress and have called “911” on their behalf, hence saving that person’s life.

The congregate (on-site) meal program provides seniors the opportunity to socialize and share a nutritious meal in a welcoming setting at six locations. Meals are available to anyone 60 years of age or older for a suggested donation of $3-$6. Last year 38,237 congregate meals fed 1,949 clients in Thurston County.

MOW and the congregate meals program help ensure that disabled, frail and  homebound seniors have the nutrition needed to sustain their health. All menus and special diets are planned by a Registered Dietitian and all clients have the opportunity to receive nutritional consultation as needed
For more information about Senior Services for South Sound and to find out how you can get involved, visit their website today!







Winter CSA? You bet!

Left Foot Organics is pleased to announce our

2012 Winter CSA Program! 

Breezy with a late summer CSA box.

Like many small, sustainable farms across the country, our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program plays a crucial role in our farm operations here at Left Foot Organics.  Here is how it works: first you buy a share of the farm’s harvest at the beginning of the season, then each week you receive a box of  produce throughout the fourteen week season.

Buying seasonal, locally-sourced produce is an excellent way to ensure that you are supporting your local economy.  Joining our CSA Program takes that concept one step further by forging a direct relationship between you and our farm without any middlemen. As a member you will receive a weekly newsletter keeping you informed of farm news, which crops are thriving and what you can expect in your box.  You’ll be a part of a community that recognizes the abilities of all people and shares the common values of eating healthily, encouraging local economies, and supporting responsible stewardship of the land.

It is true that there can be a risk associated with joining a CSA program because Mother Nature can influence production and sometimes a specific crop can fail. The reverse, however, is also true; when there is an abundance of healthy crops, your weekly box will reflect that. With warmer and milder than usual weather predicted for our region this winter, we are expecting an excellent growing season! Our Farm Manager, Lydia Beth,  plants a variety of crops and guarantees that you will receive between four and six different vegetables each week. What will you find in your Winter CSA box?

Here’s a sampling of crops we are planning for this season:

Beets         Brussels Sprouts          Cabbage

Celeriac          Chard           Collards          Garlic        

Kale          Leeks       Mustard Greens          Onions         

Parsnips          Potatoes            Rutabagas          Squash

Maybe you are already a Left Foot supporter, maybe you’ve been a member with another local farm and their season is winding down, or perhaps you’ve heard about CSA programs and wanted to give it a try, but are looking for a smaller commitment. Whatever your situation, we are sure you will be pleased with the many options we offer for our Winter CSA Program.

Ready to find out more? Check out our website www.leftfootorganics.org where you can purchase your membership online and download the nitty gritty details like dates and pick up locations.  We have only a limited number of shares available, so don’t delay.

Left Foot Lends a Hand to Nisqually Tribe’s Garden

Left Foot and NIsqually Farm Crews

Left Foot at Nisqually Gardens

Left Foot Organics crew participated in their first “Crew Exchange” event last August.  Growers and Growing Partners, along with Left Foot Staff,  spent a day working in the fields at the Nisqually Gardens.  This event gave them the opportunity to see another garden with similarities to their work site and a chance to see something “new and different,” as Glenn (former LFO Grower) would say.  Left Foot Growers contributed their experienced hands to weeding thimbleberries and strawberries and received a tour from Carlin and Caitlin, the co-managers.  They saw Nisqually employees weeding weeds similar to those that we have on the farm and LFO crew members were able to apply their skills and knowledge to provide a service at Nisqually gardens.

In the vegetable garden, they could identify many of the crops growing — peas, beets, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes — because they help weed and harvest them at Left Foot.  Touring the medicinal plant garden, they learned about other uses of plants besides just eating them.  Michael, a grower, experienced it first-hand when he was bit by a mosquito.  Grace, a tribal member and garden employee, had him apply wormwood and a poultice of English plantain to his cheek to relieve the itching, and it worked.  Carlin described other activities the garden provides, such as making plant medicine and preserving food, which really interested Meru, another one of our growers.

Left Foot employees experienced appreciation and acknowledgment for their work as Carlin gifted each of each them with a tote bag.  Left Foot brought some plants to give to their garden, too.  Left Foot employees appreciated the opportunity to visit and experience a culture different from their own but one that has shared values of respect and inclusion.  Nisqually crew members came to Left Foot Organics on August 25th to complete the work exchange.

Historical Reference  Farm Manager, Lydia Beth, worked for the tribe as a gardener before coming to Left Foot, growing food and native plants for the community under a two-year USDA grant.  Unfortunately, the project ended with the funding.  The tribal garden has since been reestablished on an old farm overlooking the Nisqually delta owned by the tribe.  This skwda?deb (Lushootseed for “gathering place”) provides employment for tribal members, distributes fresh food to the community, and creates a space for all people to garden and gather together.  Elders, families, work-release prisoners, and school groups all help to grow food and traditional medicinal plants at the garden.

Come to our Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

10am – 3 pm

Left Foot Organics Plant Sale

 11122 Case Road SW, Olympia, WA

 S on I-5 to exit 99, 93rd Avenue/Scott Lake. L onto 93rd Ave., go 1 mile to the 4-way stop. R onto Case Rd. Go 2 mi. Farm is on the left.

 All proceeds go to help Left Foot continue to serve the vocational needs of people with disabilities and rural youth.  Please visit our website for more info www.leftfootorganics.org  or call 360-754-1849.