Harvesting more than tomatoes: Cape Abilities farm employs and trains those with disabilities

With a bit of a wiggle and twist, Stephen DaLomba used both hands to pick an extra-large beefsteak tomato off the vine. Once the tomato was free, DaLomba — a participant of the day program at Cape Abilities — held it up to admire its size, smiled, and added it to a cart already filled with plump red tomatoes.

For more than 50 years, Cape Abilities has been providing jobs, homes, transportation, and other services to individuals with disabilities. The nonprofit organization Dennis farm on Route 6A was established in 2006 to provide employment and training for people with special needs. It also helps raise revenue to support the organization’s other programs.

Cape Abilities participants can be found working side-by-side with staff and volunteers at the farm. It’s likely the person at the cash register is a program participant while others work on the grounds taking care of the plants and harvesting vegetables. Right now, the farm is in full swing, the culmination of months of preparing for the busy summer season.

Lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, and other greens like peppers are grown at the farm, which is 100 percent pesticide-free. Tomatoes, beefsteak, and cherry varieties fill two greenhouses. The farm’s logo includes a tomato, and Cape Abilities has placed in the state’s annual tomato contest.  

Read the complete article at www.eu.capecodtimes.com.


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