Lynchburg Grows is a seven-acre urban farm dedicated to providing access to fresh, local, produce for Lynchburg residents, restaurants, and organizations, while also providing purposeful jobs for individuals with disabilities. The story of Lynchburg Grows is deeply rooted in a sense of community and help and its mission reflects those roots.
Providing meaningful, important work for people with disabilities has been part of Lynchburg Grows’ mission from the beginning. We currently employ four individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities. Our Farm Coach helps them stay on task and encourages them throughout the day.
Our employees deserve the credit for the farm’s harvest of more than 47,000 servings of food in 2020. The harvest supplies our community supported agriculture program, The Veggie Box, and our other programs that help provide access to fresh, healthy food in our community.
The Farm Coach program seeks to expand opportunities to bring more volunteers with disabilities to the farm to work alongside our farmers and Farm Coaches. This allows members of the community who have disabilities to benefit from our programming, open doors for us to hire new farmers should a particular volunteer show promise for farm-related work, and create an environment for our employees to engage in leadership and mentorship opportunities. A focal point of the program is making sure the farmers are able to facilitate independence, with an emphasis on expanding social and leadership skills. Ongoing coaching has helped farmers improve their efficiency, confidence, and motivation while allowing the Lynchburg Grows team to more fully identify learning edges to work on as our farmers move towards full independence. Reviews and adjustments for each farmer are implemented on an as-needed basis, and continues to provide job training that enhances the lives of our farmers and their participations in the local community.