By Anam Latif
WATERLOO — California-style tomatoes, rhubarb and basil are just a few of the vegetables KW Habilitation will be growing at their new urban micro farm in Waterloo.
After a successful community garden project in 2011, KW Habilitation turned their backyard into a farm they hope will feed and engage their residents.
KW Habilitation provides services for adults and children living with developmental disabilities. Their largest program is the 23 residential facilities across the region.
“It’s very therapeutic to get people involved in gardening,” said Tracy Franks, director of community participation at KW Habilitation. “And we are looking at reducing some of our food costs for the people that we support residentially.”
The farm is also a way to teach skills like planting and watering, skills that Franks said can be employable after people leave KW Habilitation programs.
Rows have been staked and planted, waiting for the farm’s first crop to bloom. They also built three raised beds Monday night for people with mobility issues to be able to farm comfortably. They are also planning a narrower bed that is raised even higher for people in wheelchairs to be able to reach.
“We will be able to cater to all physical abilities,” Franks added.