Thanks for taking a minute to get to know a little bit about Songyard Farms. I’m Stacy, owner of Songyard Farms. I have been in love with nature since I was a child.
As I got older, I sought out opportunities to learn more about farming and gardening and began to develop a passion for sustainability.
While I had the love for farming and gardening at an early age, life pulled me in a different direction for my career. I was always drawn to working with children and was blessed to discover the field of Applied Behavior Analysis during my freshman year of college. I studied psychology in my undergrad while I began working in ABA with young children diagnosed with autism. I went on to get my masters in Educational Psychology and became a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) in 2008. I have been working with autistic youth from ages 2 to 22 for 25 years now, and have done so in school, clinical, community and home settings. I have a passion for this field that is unparalleled by anything—except, that is, my passion for nature. During my journey as a BCBA, I have helped children learn to communicate, to develop the skills they need to build friendships and have healthy relationships with their families. I have helped children explore activities to learn more leisure skills and expand their options for play and fun. I have helped children participate in their educations and to learn the skills they need to succeed in school at their own level. I have also helped children and young adults explore career and vocational options, which unfortunately are limited. While my expertise area remains with early intervention and school aged children, my knowledge about the challenges autistic adults face with job opportunities, leisure activities and health and wellness leaves me feeling inspired to do more. Dedicating so many hours to therapies and supports during childhood to encounter a lacking in supports in adulthood is, well, disappointing. I began over a decade ago to daydream about a way to help with these challenges, and wondered if a farm could be a part of the answer.
When 33 acres became available just a mile down the road, I couldn’t help but stop by to take a look. The property already had a conservation easement from Western Reserve Land Conservancy, protecting it as farmland in perpetuity. Walking through the property-6 acres of fields and 27 of woods-it felt immediately like home. I wanted to be the steward of this property and could see immediately that this could be the place to bring my daydreams to life.
Songyard Farms was born. Here, we will be growing herbs, flowers, berries and fruit trees in our fields. We will grow mushrooms, harvest nuts and make maple syrup from our woodland. We will practice sustainability at every turn. We will also raise goats for milk (yay soap making and goat cheese!), chickens and ducks for eggs, and keep mini pigs and rabbits to help out with weeds, compost and turning the soil for planting. We will clear the woods of invasive vines and make wreaths and other garden art. And most importantly, we will be offering vocational and educational opportunities to autistic youth and young adults to help them find their passions for future jobs-whether that includes actual farming, marketing, sales or art—you name it!