Students in the Transition to Adult Living program are ready to get to work at Fiery Ginger Farm.
Growing More Than Plants AT THIS LOCAL FARM, YOUNG ADULTS LEARN JOB SKILLS
n West Sacramento, behind the old Hollywood Hardware building on Merkley Avenue, there’s a farm. Washington Unified School District leases the 1-acre plot to the Center for Land-Based Learning, and Fiery Ginger Farm subleases it from the center. The farm’s owners, Hope Sippola and Shayne Zurilgen, grow their fall and winter crops here. This morning, a work crew, students from the district’s Transition to Adult Living program, arrives with their aide, Lynne Narag. Four days a week, this crew helps Sippola and Zurilgen with farm chores in West Sacramento. On Tuesdays, the TAL
AK By Angela Knight Farm to Fork
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students take the bus to Davis, where Fiery Ginger Farm leases another plot at The Cannery. The crew has been working with Zurilgen and Sippola for about a year. The TAL program assists young adults with developmental disabilities transition from student life to independent living. Communitywork settings, like Fiery Ginger Farm, teach the students hands-on, employment-related skills. The program pays the students for their time. Today, the crew is transferring Freedom Ranger chicks from the plastic crates they arrived in to their new homes: movable structures called chicken tractors. The structures don’t look like tractors; they look like chicken apartments. The only moving parts are the birds themselves, although the structures are rotated from spot to spot every day. Zurilgen shows the crew how to carry a red-feathered chick with both
hands. Sippola counts the chicks as the crew transfers them from crate to tractor. Austin Todd, wearing a blue shirt covered with sailboats,
baggy jeans and bright-orange running shoes, flutters his eyelashes TO page 54
TAL students help plant seedlings for vegetables, such as bok choy.
Published on Nov 29, 2017