My new mentor, Carolyn Anderson, introduced me to Daryn Richardson last week. Daryn has a quick smile and kind demeanor. As the Services Development Director at VODEC and the stepfather to a specially-able adult, Daryn was a shot in the arm for my pilot project. I explained to him what I wanted to do and he smiled and said, “There is a great need for this in the community”. He explained the proposal he is working on with Assistology to create a cooking strategy for specially-able adults. This proposal will create recipes/directions for helpers to teach others how to cook using slow cookers. He encouraged me to explore two seperate tracks: Nutritional and Vocational skills. If I can teach transferable skills, he will have people who will want to be a part of the farm. It was interesting to hear him list off the types of transferable skills that can be taught on the farm. Interpersonal communication and attention to task were two that piqued my interest.
Carolyn suggested we teach nutrition first and then visit the farm. Daryn smiled and quickly said, No. They want to be active! Let them pick butternut squash and then talk about what to do with them. This is excited me as I love creating engaging activities.
At the end of our time together, it became clear to me that I need to start observing specially abled people in current programs to get more of an idea how this farm should be created to serve them well.