Farm staff work with community organizations to provide valuable experiences. Cooperation with Abilities United, a Palo Alto nonprofit serving children, families, and adults with developmental disabilities, brings Mathew Francavilla and Chris Moore to the Farm to clean the sheep pen. It is part of the organization’s Integrated Living Program with volunteer and learning experiences, such as working at the Farm.
Mathew has visited farms, but Deer Hollow Farm is the first one where he has worked. Though he finds shoveling goat scat and taking it to the compost pile hard work, he sees it as part of the cycle of farm life—animal waste, compost, garden fertilizer, food.
Mathew also volunteers at Pet Sitting to the Max in Mountain View. He says he really likes dogs. You can see from the picture that he also likes goats. Chris and Mathew have seen pregnant does and watched young kids grow. Chris enjoys watching the goats as he cleans their area. He is employed at the Trader Joe’s at the San Antonio Center in Mountain View. Chris says, “Volunteering is important to me.”
Alison Graham, Adult Services Specialist, brings the men to the Farm and works with them. She described other parts of the Integrated Living Program including, cooking, safety, and communications classes taught at Abilities United and opportunities to attend classes at Foothill College.
Reprinted with permission from Deer Hollow Farm.