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Farm Program Offers Therapeutic Benefits

Charles River Center, Needham

From the Needham Times, September 21, 2017

For the past three years, the Charles River Center, through a partnership with the Needham Community Farm, has been teaching adults with developmental disabilities how to farm flowers, fruits and vegetables.

The program aims to develop employable skills and also provides therapeutic benefits.

The horticulture program was created by Needham native Mike Bolio and is comprised of around 100 individuals from the Norfolk County area with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

The program has participants work throughout the entire year, as they plant seeds at a greenhouse in the CRC in early spring and tend to them five days a week until the weather warms. Then, they transfer plants to the plots at the farm and tend to them until harvest, after which they deliver the harvested crops to the Needham Community Council food pantry and the CRC’s mobile market.

“It’s awesome. It’s showing the community that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can always contribute to the community that you live in,” said Bolio.

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