Ashley and Marjorie’s story, told by Marjorie:

My name is Marjorie Yerdon and I work with a young woman named Ashley Kinney who enjoys volunteering. Our quest for volunteer opportunities brought us to St. Francis Farm at the recommendation of a trusted friend, Margaret Weigel.  Margaret had positive experiences with Lorraine and Joanna, and knew that it would be a great fit.   

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Ashley and I do not stay overnight at the farm, instead we live locally and set up a few hours ahead of time to volunteer, usually on Wednesdays. Lorraine, Joanna, and Zachary have   always been welcoming, accommodating, and ready to teach and help with all ability levels. Their flexibility in accommodating me, now 7 months pregnant, and Ashley who has Downs Syndrome has been a wonderful pleasure because we still get to contribute our efforts, and have always felt valued and welcomed. Ashley and I have been fortunate to get to help with many fun tasks, such as weeding the spacious garden, helping to naturally treat tomato plants for mildew as well as tying the plants up for healthy growth, sanding wooden toys to be donated, cleaning freshly picked garlic for storage, picking apples, snapping beans for canning, picking blackberries. We enjoy the beautiful grounds that include a pond, walking trails, livestock and woodland animals to be observed. On a recent walk, we spotted two fawns, and later on down the trail, their mother jumped up and gave us a fine show of her strength and speed as she bounded out of the field.  At St Francis Farm we can enjoy our lunches outdoors or in, and the company is always pleasant and relaxing to share time with. They have given us much tasty fare from the farm, including delicious goat cheese wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves, dried tomatoes, blackberries, strawberries, nasturtium [a colorful and edible flower], green beans, squash, cucumbers, and fresh garlic to enjoy at home. Lorraine shared a small sachet of dried lavender that she weaves with colored ribbon that smells amazing.  We really enjoy their company and their generosity and I would highly recommend volunteering at St Francis Farm to any age or ability level, as there will always be something you may help with, and kind folks around to meet and collaborate with.

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