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Legacy Farms Summer Garden Launches With Ribbon Cutting

© Leesburg Today - 06/28/2015

A dozen young adults with autism will go through a five-week training program that will teach them agriculture skills, and organizers officially unveiled the garden where they'll work on Sunday afternoon at the Temple Hall Farm north of Leesburg.

Legacy Farms President Martha Schonberger said the half-acre plot on the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority property will create an ""environment that is geared towards our students' pace.""

Legacy Farms also has been in talks with area wineries for employment opportunities for the students once they're done with the five-week demonstration class. For two hours a day, Schonberger and other volunteers will teach the students how to plant, prune and harvest produce and grapes in the garden.

""This will help transition these people into meaningful work,"" Schonberger said. ""It's something everyone deserves.""

Numerous elected officials were on hand for the ribbon cutting, including Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd, Leesburg council members Suzanne Fox and Marty Martinez, Del. Randy Minchew (D-13), and School Board member Bill Fox. County Chairman candidate Phyllis Randall also attended.

Loudoun Interfaith Relief Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery said this is a ""tremendous opportunity for Loudoun County,"" on numerous levels because it could create jobs while also teaching people with autism skills to use in the future.

""This is helping contribute to our community,"" she said.

The program begins June 29 and runs through July, culminating with Legacy Farms' annual garden party, held Aug. 1.

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