Creating Opportunities for Growth
Our curriculum is designed to achieve two objectives:
- To aid our clients who seek future competitive employment opportunities by identifying, developing, and helping them achieve their employment goals in the agriculture industry.
- To provide an agrarian environment where those who participate will engage in an array of activities dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency while improving our community.
Our Foundational Therapeutic Program
Our foundational program was designed for young adults to help prepare them for a transition to independence, employment, and community participation via production-based farm and garden work. While many of our participants are in their 20’s and 30’s, our youngest participant was 13 years old and our oldest over 60 years old.
This established program exposes the participants to the hustle, bustle, and distractions of a working farm, and allows participants to determine if this is a viable career path for them. We introduce participants to the world of agribusiness and help them learn marketable skills based on achievable personalized goals. As the program matures and our gardens have become established, we have begun expanding our ability to provide on-the-job coaching and on-site transition assistance. We provide each of participant who is ready for outplacement with the guidance necessary to transition into the workforce and improve both their lives and the lives of those around them.
Our current program consists of three sessions (Spring, Summer, Fall), all of which are fully funded and will continue as the backbone, regardless of grant status:
• Spring (4 weeks): Preparing and planting in the greenhouse, preparing the large garden and tools for planting, preparation for upcoming planting cycles.
• Summer (10 weeks): Plant care (weeding, watering, harvesting), natural pest control, community giving and donations.
• Fall (4 weeks): Harvesting, giving and donating, putting the garden to bed for Winter.
Our Seasonal Sessions
Last year marked our third year of providing working sessions for participants in our program. We defined and launched a Spring program and a newly upgraded Summer Garden program designed to introduce individuals with autism and developmental disabilities to a farm environment by teaching them what tools and resources are available on a farm as well as how to safely and properly use them. Participants also gained a greater understanding of diverse types of plants and planting methods.
In all our Seasonal Sessions, daily instruction focuses vocational training, social skills, and the “soft” skills needed to get and keep a job. Instruction is hands-on, and customized to support each participant’s abilities, goals, and behavior plans (if applicable).
We also opened a greenhouse on the grounds, offering the unique opportunity to learn new skills. As we develop and further refine our programs, our goal is that by the time the participants have completed three seasons worth of programs, they will have the skills needed for an entry-level position at one of the farms we partner with in Loudoun County and Bluemont, Virginia.
All programs generalize participants to the tools and environment one would expect to find when working in a greenhouse or on a farm. Each day begins with a review of previous days learnings then classroom discussion followed by "hands-on" instruction in the greenhouse and/or garden.
The Spring Program: Seedlings, Soil, & Shovels
Growing seedlings is the first step of gardening, just as the Spring Program is the first step to success in the agrarian workforce!
The overall goal of the Spring Program is to introduce the participants to the garden/farm environment, get them comfortable working with dirt, plants, water, the noises and smells, and other people to ensure each person is prepared physically and emotionally for a job in agriculture.
Participants focus on transplanting seedlings from the greenhouse into the Summer Garden and maintaining the garden to ensure crops are healthy and well tended.
The Summer Garden Program: Flourish & Grow
The Summer Garden Program is in its fourth year of operation. Our eight-week program is designed to introduce individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities to a farm environment by teaching them what tools and resources are available on a farm as well as how to safely and properly use them. Individuals will also gain a greater understanding of diverse types of plants and planting methods.
Daily instruction focuses vocational training, social skills, and the “soft” skills needed to get and keep a job. Instruction is hands-on, and customized to support each participant’s abilities, goals, and behavior plans (if applicable).
As our program is new and under development, we do not currently charge for our services. We want everyone to be able to attend our program, therefore we are requesting a donation of $550/total for those who can attend 1-2 days a week and $850/total for those who can attend 3-4 days a week. The need for vocational training is to great and we don't want anyone to miss out on this opportunity due to finances, therefore we are working on other ways to ensure our staff is taken care of financially.
The FALL Program: Putting the Garden to Rest for Winter
The overall goal of the Fall Program is to introduce the participants to the activities and responsibilities of harvesting, cleaning, and putting the garden to rest for winter. As with our Spring and Summer programs, we introduce new and returning participants to the garden/farm environment, get them comfortable working with dirt, plants, water, the noises and smells, and other people to ensure each person is prepared physically and emotionally for a job in agriculture.
Please fill out application and mail entire application packet to:
c/o Pui Wan
PO Box 4499
Leesburg, Va. 20176
For questions email pui at email@example.com
Employment Assistance Services
This year, Legacy Farms will begin offering a wider array of programs and services. Our goal is to provide our clientele who seek to work in a competitive work environment with the skills they need to begin achieving their employment goals, while still offering those interested with a day program that improves problem solving skills and promotes independent thinking.
Agrarian Based Job Skills Training
This service is a defined set of activities that lead to development of agrarian based skills for a specific career outcome consistent with the clients goals and locally available employment opportunities. The specified skill development is primarily at the farm or may be at a community site. The skills acquired will be appropriate for entry level work in the field of preparation and/or transferable to other job areas.
Employment Assistance will be provided to those who complete our job skills training and are interested in seeking full or part time employment. Our team will work with you to determine your strengths and aid in finding suitable employment with one of our partners in the community.
Community Based Day Programs
Legacy Farms provides morning and afternoon day program for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or a developmental disability. Per other successful gardening programs, we have outlined several strategies and tips to ensure our program is successful and the information we provide is understood and absorb in the best way possible.
- Participants will explore and participate on their own terms. Curiosity and engagement in the lessons will encourage them to take down barriers and built trust in others.
- Repetitive activities and differentiated instruction will be utilized. Students move through lessons at their own pace to increase comfort level and experience success.
- Behavior plan will be honored and social skills will be taught both in lessons and in the “teachable moment”.
Participation in inclusive garden programs benefits all those involved. In addition to plantings, our programs sow seeds of understanding and acceptance that will last them a lifetime.
Each program is unique, however they all provide opportunities for peer interaction and community integration while focused on the following:
- Task learning;
- Community resource utilization;
- Environmental and behavioral skills;
- Social skills; and
- Pre-vocational skills.
Legacy Farms has a 3 step application process. This is to ensure the applicant is a good fit for the programs and services we offer. The farm is a fun and wonderful place to work, but safety is top-priority.
Step 1: The Application
A potential participant must:
Be a post-secondary (finished their high school education) adult (at least 18 years old), or be accompanied by a legal guardian or supervisor
Have a developmental disability and/or social challenges with interacting with people in society or engaging in normal social behaviors
Have access to reliable transportation to and from sites
Be able to eat independently
Be able to use the toilet independently
Be mobile and able to orient or walk from place to place
Not be physically harmful to themselves or others
Be able to follow two step directions with minimal support
Be able to contribute something to the Legacy Farms Community
Each participant and family/guardian(s) will be required to fill out an application and participate in an interview process with Legacy Farms Support Staff. Decisions for inviting individuals to initially join the Legacy Farms Community will be based on the potential member meeting the entrance requirements listed above, the assessment by Legacy Farms Support Staff for how the individual can contribute to the Legacy Farms Community, and the ability to meet program tuition fees.
Step 2: Interview
Next, we will schedule an interview to go over application, explain the upcoming programs key learnings, and answer any questions you may have about Legacy Farms.
Step 3: The Visit
Once we determine eligibility we will invite you to tour the farm and see first-hand what our program offers.