The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 9, 2013

GHA Autism Supports offers community supported agriculture program

Thursday, May 9, 2013 — On June 2, 2003, GHA Autism Supports began construction on Carolina Farms, an innovative program in the Millingport area designed to enable individuals from the autistic population to realize a dream of living and working in a farming environment in Stanly County. 

Carolina Farms is used as a state, national and international site for professionals to conduct training and studies of treatment methods and data collection on autism. It is affiliated with TEACCH (Treatment and Education for Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), which is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School.

The program was initially developed in three phases, with the final phase being completed in November 2005. Each phase involved the construction of a five-bed group home along with additional facilities that encompass the vocational aspects of life on the farm. Additional facilities for the Farm include a multi-purpose building, barn, two greenhouses, therapeutic riding ring, recreational track and swimming pool.  In an effort to expand the employment opportunities for the individuals with autism that the organization supports, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program was established in 2010.  A “CSA” allows you an opportunity to purchase a “subscription” to a farm’s harvest.

Carolina Farms is pleased to announce the fourth offering of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.   

A limited number of shares are available from the program for an investment of $400. Each week your investment could provide to you a dozen free roaming eggs and a variety of veggies free of pesticides. Your subscription will give you access to a 13-week summer session and a 4-week fall session allowing for a larger variety of produce from both growing seasons.  Summer produce items will include arugula, green beans, beets, celery, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic, lettuce varieties, onions, peppers, peas, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, variety of herbs and fresh flowers.  The summer schedule runs mid May – mid August.  Fall produce items will include broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, lettuce varieties, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes and turnips.  The fall schedule runs late October-late November.  

Pick-up times will be at the GHA Autism Supports Central Office at 213 North Second Street in downtown Albemarle from Noon to 4:30 pm on Tuesday or Thursday of each week within each session and efforts will be made to accommodate your choice of day.

Through your investment in this project, you share in the risks of farming which may include, but are not limited to, poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests.  Payments in full are due no later than the start of the summer session.  Checks need to be made payable to GHA Autism Supports. 

Feel free to drop your payment by our office (213 North Second Street, Albemarle) between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm on Monday through Friday or mail your payment to P.O. Box 2487, Albemarle, NC 28002. 

For more information, please contact GHA Autism Supports Chief Development Officer Beth Olivieri at (704) 982-9600, ext. 125.