Dear Friends of Farmsteads of New England:
We are happy to report that we completed many projects and started work on many others in the past year. These include:
- We expanded day services for our clients at both our Hillsborough & Epping locations.
- We increased various art options in Hillsborough with programs in ceramics and pottery, weaving for both our farmers and community members, and painting and drawing. All of these programs have proven to be quite popular.
- We explored new avenues of fundraising. These include the selling of more than $10,000 in tax credits to businesses in New Hampshire to fund our upcoming Strategic Plan as well as to start developing a Succession Plan.
- Thanks to donations, we are working with engineers and architects to plan for the development of the Epping farmstead, including new residences that will be built. We have also obtained grants to help with the cost of preparing the long fallow fields to be productive once again!
During this pivotal time for the future of Farmsteads of new England, we have three main goals for the coming year that your continued support will help us achieve.
- Obtain a funding commitment to start construction of residences in Epping.
- Obtain funding to enable us to increase day program space and activities in Epping.
- Increase wages for our hardworking, very deserving mentors.
Our mission is to help the people we support to have meaningful and satisfying lives. We offer numerous activities both on the farm and within the greater community based on each person’s interests. Following are a few examples:
Allison recently attended an outing to the Mariposa Museum Cultural Arts Center in Peterborough, NH. Museums are not typically in her comfort zone, but with the support of her mentor, she reported having a wonderful time learning about other countries, playing interactive games, and conducting puppet shows.
With the positive encouragement of his mentor and a consistent approach, Andy has made some real strides in his ability to communicate using his ipad. The ability to communicate one’s wants and needs is vital to reducing frustration and increasing enjoyment in life. Andy loves coming back to the farmstead each afternoon to join others for lunch and we all enjoy listening to his laughter!
Amanda (below) has made great achievements over the past year. She is now on the FNE payroll as a housekeeper, cleaning offices and activity rooms each week. Paid employment is a wonderful thing! Amanda worked hard to discipline herself to save money from her paychecks and was able to use that money for a Florida trip with her family. What a treat! Last year Amanda also wrote, illustrated, and published her first children’s book. She had it bound and successfully sold 15 copies of which she is rightfully very proud.
Moving to the farmstead as a “senior citizen” was a major change from living with family, but Karen rose to the challenge! She has made many new friends and is especially fond of her neighbor, Dee.
Karen loves visiting the pigs and other animals on the farm and sipping her tea in the main house while helping prepare lunch. She also really enjoys various activities in the community such as a pontoon boat ride last summer and a visit to the botanical garden at Smith College.
Dee has participated in many activities both on the farm and in the greater community this year. One of the most prominent would be horseback riding where she has mastered balancing and riding skills that she is very proud of. She is also developing skills in our pottery studio and has enjoyed numerous community activities including glass blowing and zip lining!
We are again inviting FNE friends again to become a Sustaining Partner with Farmsteads of New England by pledging to make a monthly gift rather than a one-time donation to our annual appeal.
Whichever way you choose to support our mission, we are grateful for your continued support that goes so far to help the Farmsteads of New England family change and enrich lives every day. We hope in the future to see some of you visiting one of our farmsteads to volunteer, to take a class, or to buy produce.
Deborah DeScenza Barbara Cohen
Founder and Executive Director President, FNE’s Board of Directors