Hope for our Future
Peaches and David Cunningham met Suzanne and Alan Zimmerman at a preschool for developmental disabilities when their children were 3 and 4 years old. Both their children had developmental disorders and their future was on their mind. The collaborated idea of a working farm where children, youth and young adults with developmental disorders could live, work, play and grow took shape and The Farmer’s House, Inc was born.
As a mom of two children with autism, this program is near and dear to my heart. When I got a job in Park Hill School District, I had never heard of The Farmer’s House (I grew up in Shawnee Mission and was VERY unfamiliar with the Northland and what it had to offer.) Of course, inquiring about my kids’ services was a priority. After asking a friend of mine about my school district’s services, she proclaimed, “Oh, you are so lucky! Park Hill is great and your kids will get to experience The Farmer’s House!”
Not knowing what that was, I began my research. The Farmer’s House started out as a program: The Seeds of Change Program. Participants (or Farmers as they are now called) learned to garden, to plan out a project, work together to prepare, plant and maintain it, and the reward of harvesting the produce. They learned to find recipes to use their produce and took pride in what they had accomplished. The participants came from area school districts located near Platte City and Weston, MO(Park Hill included!)
With the success of the garden, The Farmer’s House Market in Historic Weston was born. The Farmer’s House Market sells locally grown and produced “farm to table” products such as vegetables, fruit, honey, cheese and farm and home related items. On weekends, you can find some of the best BBQ and apple fritters I have ever tasted. The farm and the market is a place that I am comfortable with, a place where my kids can relax and be themselves and I know that they will participate in the future in the programs The Farmer’s House has to offer.
Which, leads me to great news.
The Farmer’s House opened their second location of The Farmer’s House Market in Westwood, KS! So much to explore at this local store! An eclectic mix of fabulous farm to table foods, kitchenware, old-fashion toys (teach your kids to play jacks or marbles!) and unique gifts. Buying at this store this holiday season is a fantastic way to buy local and support a local charity at the same time. The Westwood location will have a focus on the arts with classes offered at the store as well. As popularity of the store grows, more volunteers, staff, and job coaches will be needed.
Find Out More
The mission of The Farmer’s House is enhanced by the active participation of community volunteers. Volunteer opportunities for individuals may include; helping with baking and art programs, caring for the gardens, assisting in our market or helping with office tasks, and so much more. Volunteer opportunities for groups (Scouts, school groups, businesses, churches, etc.) may include; supporting Farmers during baking and art programs, special projects, and helping with events. If you can’t volunteer, consider donating this holiday season! $10 a month will provide seeds for our vegetable garden for a year, $15 a month will fund 12 hours of job coaching for a Farmer, $25 a month will pay for a year’s worth of art supplies for Art at the Farm, the need goes on! Being a teacher at Park Hill, I have seen the faces of many young adults that participate at The Farmer’s House- it is priceless. I can’t wait for my kids to be there and experience the pride and comfort that this place brings.
The Farmer’s House Market new location is located at 4740 Rainbow Blvd. Westwood, KS 66205 and is open Monday-Saturday 10-5. The Farm is located at 23200 Highway 273
Weston, MO 64098 and the downtown Weston market is located at 415 Main Street
Weston, MO 64098.
Find out more at https://www.thefarmershouse.org/ #shoplocal #supportlocal #donatelocal