We wanted to be able to share our progress as we move towards our opening in May of 2011. Follow us on Facebook to see all of our photos!
Current Project: We are happy to announce that we received our approval and permit from the Department of Transportation for Virginia's Adopt-A-Highway Program! We also visited a local farm and selected two dairy goats with kids. Their owner will be visiting our program for approval to operate and purchase. We also established a great relationship that will allow us to have her support while we tranisition the goats and begin to milk the herd.
Upcoming Events: We have a team of three joining us to donate their time for the weekend. Projects include building an additional goat house as well as a feeding area for moms that will be milking their young. We also plan to remove a cabinet in the kitchen to accommodate a larger fridge given that we we will need additional space for large community meals.
A weekend of success! Our volunteers arrived ready to work on Thursday night and did not stop until they walked out of the door on Sunday morning! An amazing addition to the goat barn and an unexpected (but delightful) renovation of the kitchen! A special thanks to Andy and Sylvia Caddell and Sarah Moses Queen for their devotion to our program!
Upcoming Events: We have a busy weekend planned! The goat/poultry fencing arrived and we will install this weekend. We have a visit planned on Saturday with both our goat breeder as well as our horse farm to continue to establish working relationships in the best interest of those that we are serving. Our first young man is coming for a weekend stay to get a feel for our program and participate in our scheduled activities. We have a family visit scheduled in April as well!
Another weekend of success!
We spent our weekend running a sample program schedule. We experienced great success! Our projects completed: installed electric fencing for poultry and goats, painted lattis work, took down two trees that were diseased, built a footbridge across the creek, planted cabbage, fulfilled our adopt the road program pick-up, walked four miles, played a game of whiffle ball and made two delicious homemade meals. We met with the lady that will be working with our dairy goats and she spent Saturday evening with us talking and sharing her experience. We worked hard and laughed hard together in a structured stress free enviornment!
We have a family reunion this weekend. We are taking a break for the weekend for a bit of rest and relaxation before our opening in May! We are working on building a relationship with a couple of families that rent homes in the area for our families when they visit with their young adult children. We are spending the week continuing to develop our time management, task analysis and financial support tools!
We had a family reunion this past weekend. We had a bit of rest and relaxation! If you consider street hockey, kickball and bocce ball rest. We have made progress building relationships with a couple of families that rent homes in the area for our families when they visit with their young adult children. We continue to further develop our time management, task analysis and financial support tools!
Like most, we have had a great deal of rain. The water in the creek was so high that it damaged our bridge that we worked so hard to build. We are expecting another 2+ inches of rain this week. Weekend project is: CLEANING OUT THE BARN!!! Yes, it will take the entire weekend. Cleaning, clearing, dumping, organizing, labeling and finally hanging new shelves before putting it all back in the barn!
A full weekend of projects completed! Goat barn and chicken coop painted, mulched leaves, spread grass seed, planted eggplant and kale, removed electric fencing to allow for the work on the fence to begin this week, cleaned out all flower beds, turned over a portion of the garden, washed exterior of all windows and tiled kitchen counter! Getting ready for May 1!
Whew! So much to do! Next weekend is a busy weekend of planting. Much of the fencing should be completed so the electric fencing can be installed again. Flowerbeds and raised garden beds will be mulched. Lastly, we are finalizing on our project-planning tool.
Whew! It was a busy weekend of planting and soil testing. A good amount of the fencing was installed! Chickens were delivered. Snow on Sunday held up fencing and it should be finished later this week. We made contact with two local business owners that will be working with us to develop internship opportunities!
A Post from Paul:
I just got back from Germany. It was a long time to be away but what amazing trip. It was my third to Germany to teach the American School teachers about working with students on the spectrum. This time I traveled from school to school across the country working with our military's children trying to improve their instruction. It may sound a little hokey, but I felt like I was doing my part as an American to teacher these teachers how to better include students with autism in their classrooms. And they are amazing teachers who are like sponges just craving more knowledge. Happy to be back but will miss all these teachers offered me!
We hope to have the fencing completed this weekend. Our chickens are going to need a bit of sun so we are going to hope for spring weather! We are finalizing our contract for care as well as our management tools for our program. We have a family visit scheduled this week. Paul is working hard on program development. We will hear more and more from him as we approach our start date! Look for his posts each week.
It was another busy weekend of planting. The fencing is project is complete! We are so pleased with the outcome and are thankful for the support offered by our friend Vinny at Endurance Fencing! We have been contacted by a number of families that will be visiting the program in the coming weeks. We have a prospective client family meeting confirmed for this week. We have been working on project binders to monitor and track the progress of those that we serve. We also have an additional internship opportunity. Currently, we have a wide selection and variety of opportunities for our clients. Given the high level of response, we are working on a training structure for the businesses and their employees that will support our internships. A special thanks to those in our Elkton community for supporting our program.
The buds are beginning to bloom! Spring is finally on the way! We will place the first of our seedlings in the garden this weekend and continue our planting schedule. Our harvest schedule outline begins! The home environment for those that we will serve will be ready as of Monday, April 11th! Stay tuned...we will post new pictures soon! We will pick up our family of goats in late April from Keren. We are looking for a donor to support the purchase of supplies for making cheese.
A post from Jameson Livelli:
Hi! I am Jameson Livelli, Paul and Jenny are my parents. At Mountain Creek Farms we do many activities from painting to building bridges. We adopted a road that we clean for an activity. I've had tons of fun, we have so many activities that it is almost impossible to become bored. But when we are not working we play fun activities such as whiffle ball, tag football or maybe even a game of kickball. I always have a fun weekend.
Jameson asked to add a post this week so we asked him to write a post and we would add to the website and the facebook page. Stayed tuned for updates later this week! Getting excited about our start!
We opened our program this weekend! We welcomed our first young man and his family. We had a number of laughs, a few good hugs and a couple of tears when his mom left him to begin his journey of independence. Our programming starts tomorrow...garden work, a trip to the organic feed store and an evening of 9 holes of golf (walking for exercise of course).
Stay tuned for updates as we progress with our success!
We thank our friends, family and community for their thoughts and prayers! Please continue to keep us in your daily devotions!
We will be presenting an overview of our program at the Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County on June 20th at 6PM. We are very interested to hear the needs of our local community.
Please pass along our name to family and friends that may have an interest in our program/services! We offer family training/consultation, advocacy and workshops. We are developing a summer day camp program based upon the expressed needs of our community. Stay tuned for updates!
We completed our winter garden this past week. We can see the Thanksgiving meal on the table as we watch our seedlings sprout.
For the perfect balance of hard work and keeping our stress levels low, we are heading out today for a float trip on the Shenandoah River!
We are in Pinehurst, NC for a week away together! One of the many outings that we program and plan for our young men to provide recreation and relaxation. This week we are kayaking, boating with water sports, swimming, horseback riding and playing a little golf together.
We would like to say a special thank you to Andy and Sylvia Caddell and Phil and Pam Harrell for hosting this week.
Take a look at our Facebook site for updates as well as pictures of our great time together!
We are excited to welcome Andrew Romanowski to our program! Andrew comes to our program with extensive computer skills and will be taking over our web site and Facebook updates. We have decided to add a "Workers in Training" section to our site highlighting the ongoing success of our young men. Check out Andrew's page to learn a little more about his recent transition to our program.
Charlie obtained his first internship placement in Elkton in late August. Charlie continues to experience success not only on the farm but also with his current internship. Look for updates each month!
We are working with our current families to reschedule Friends and Family Day at MCF. Stay tuned for a new date!
Happy Holidays from the Mountain Creek Farm family! We hope that your holidays are peaceful and full of hope and joy!
We are very excited about 2012! We look forward to our continued growth and expansion into our Elkton community.
We are very pleased to announce that we received our non-profit status from the United States Internal Revenue Service!
Follow us on Facbook for ongoing updates regarding our continued service for young adults as they transition into the world of independence.
Just before the holiday, our guys spent an afternoon with Ted from The Valley Banner. If you are local, you will find Mountain Creek Farms featured on the front page of The Valley Banner! If you are not local and would like a copy, please email our staff and we will be sure to mail you a copy of the article. email@example.com
We have an open position for an intern on the farm. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Continue to follow our progress on Facebook and be sure to click "LIKE" to support our program!
Why Would they want to Do That?
It is my favorite behavioral question that often goes unanswered by those who would wish other’s behavior to change. I cannot count the number of times I would walk into a classroom to hear a teacher tell me that she wants the child to sit in his seat, raise his hand, wait to be called on to answer questions. My reply would be, “Why would they want to... do that?” to which the teacher would look at me dumbfounded.
It is no different on the farm. Part of what we do is help our young men see the reasons for why they would want to do what an employer would ask of him. It's about pay, which is about money, which is about food and being able to buy things. It seems like a simple connection, but when the opportunity presents itself to cover the hay the right way instead of throwing the tarp on, the latter choice is made.
Also, lately we have also been talking about the notion of integrity. After a few really good dinner conversations, we have come up with a shared understanding that it simply means to do the right thing--even when no one is watching. So often, the guys take the easy way out only to be discovered later. They come up with excuses that simply do not add up—even to them ironically. The hand goes to the head, the eye contact fades, the voices become lower, and yes, even some shame sets in. It still leads back to that critical question...
Why would they want to do that? Pay of course. And they are learning that integrity means you can always walk away from a job knowing you did your best and that is all one can really do. Believe me, your boss knows it as well.