KRCR News – Organic Farm gives employment to adults with disabilities


ANDERSON, Calif. – Carrie Lustig was a social worker for almost 20 years. She said she loved the work but after so long was losing inspiration.

A few years ago Carrie adopted a baby. She said that getting organic produce for her child was costing her more than she hoped it would.

At work, her clients were asking for jobs working outside. She said she always had to turn down their ideas.

“They really wanted to work outside and do more jobs related to gardening and working with animals. Those were all the things that they were really interested in,” Lustig said. “I just kept thinking, we don’t have anything like that.”

After the death of her father, she also had the stress of finding use for the family farm.

She said that’s when it all came together.

“One morning, I just woke up and had this idea for this farm.”

Between the need for cheaper organic food, the lack of inspiration in her job, and the vacant family farm, she said it was a no-brainer.

Fullfilling Fields Organic Farm started more than a year ago with CPE as a partner program. The mission of the farm is to give employment to adults with developmental disabilities. Her clients help with the gardening.

She also hired a staff to help with the clients and the gardening.

Dr. Jim Collins is an ecopsychologist and a therapist. He has studied the therapeutic aspect of gardening.

Dr. Collins said he thinks gardening is one of the best activities anyone can do. It teaches self reliance and determination.

Lustig said the best thing for her clients is getting out of a stressful work environment and working on their peaceful farm.

She said they are welcome to more clients or volunteers.

In a couple months, they will start delivering their produce.

They are also starting a weekly gardening workshop. Dr. Collins said he can share his gardening expertise to a beginner or bounce ideas off of another expert.

To learn more about the upcoming workshops, the delivery service, how to donate, or how to volunteer, go to their Facebook page at Fullfilling Fields Organic Farm.