Watch Us Farm Has Expanded Its Products and Services
Writer / Julie Yates
Since its inception in the summer of 2019 by Executive Director Janice Agarwal and her husband David, the nonprofit organization Watch Us Farm has grown, and is continuing its mission of providing developmentally and intellectually disabled adults with jobs in a supportive environment. Despite COVID-19, 2020 was a year of expansion as new services and products were offered to the community, and local ties were strengthened. This year is also proving to be a time of growth through the launching of new initiatives.
“In 2020 the world seemed to be falling apart, but at Watch Us Farm, everything was falling together,” Agarwal says. “We were considered to be an essential business and this enabled us to keep our doors open. COVID-19 slowed our growth, but this was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the time to further
develop the details of our structure. We defined strategic plans, job descriptions and financial goals.”
Watch Us Farm increased connections by selling produce at local farmers markets and introducing two new enterprises, in addition to farming, gardening and textile weaving. Greeting cards are now being produced by the organization, and sold in local shops as well as in big batches by special order. Additionally, a car-detailing department supplies jobs while offering a needed service to the community.
The organization partnered with the Zionsville Lions Club. Together, complying with health mandates, the two groups hosted Watch Us Farm’s second annual Fall Festival. It was attended by state representatives, and raised awareness about the segment of the population that benefits from the jobs generated by Watch Us Farm.
This year the organization is working on developing a program to educate school children on the day-to-day workings of a fully organic farm. It will educate students on where food comes from. Public schools have shown interest, and Watch Us Farm leaders hope that private schools, home-schooling parents, and online schools will be included.
A hoop house, which is a type of greenhouse, was donated to the farm in 2020. It is currently being rebuilt on the property, and will extend the growing season for the farm. The structure will increase training and job skills, as well as services to the community like offering organic, locally grown produce to area markets and restaurants.
“Going forward, we’re very excited to continue opening up more vocational training and opportunities, both for adults with special needs as well as people interested in our community,” Agarwal says. “We welcome new volunteers to help out on projects and to head up teams of our adults working throughout the community. As a nonprofit we’re always looking for more opportunities to be involved in our community, including partnering with local businesses to sell our products, as well as creating new jobs.”
Watch Us Farm is located at 9906 East 200 South in Zionsville. For more information, visit WatchUsFarm.com, call 317-590-6496, or email email@example.com.