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Conference attendees sitting at round tables with a presentation happening at the front of the room

On Saturday, May, 18th CLCC tabled and sponsored Healing By Growing Farms’ 2nd Northeast Disability & Agriculture Conference, themed “My Voice, My Narrative.” The day was filled with personable and grounding speakers who all shared stories about the importance of supporting and empowering one another to find our voice to advocate for ourselves.

Healing By Growing Farms, founded by Dr. Ivette Ruiz in her home of East Haven, CT, is a space where disability and mental health support coincide with agriculture. The intentions behind the space are to cultivate a sense of healing and calm while connecting with nature and advocating for the invisible challenges that many of our farmers face.

Initiatives like Healing By Growing inspire us to look beyond the traditional benefits of preserving and working the land such as ecological preservation or food production, and consider just how impactful it can be to get outside and grow something while walking a path of personal growth. They remind us of the other pillars of health besides the physical that nature can provide.

That isn’t to say the physicality of farming was ignored. In fact, great emphasis was placed on the importance of accessibility of working the lands throughout the day. Many farmers go through injury, either acute or chronic, at some point in their careers.  This does not make them any less capable. Supporting our producers with the tools and resources necessary for them to continue to do what they love and help feed us all along the way is imperative to strengthening our community.

At CLCC we are committed to pushing the definitions of what benefits land conservation can provide, and how to impact the most people possible. We will continue to support thought leaders like Dr. Ruiz and elevate the importance of accessibility and mental health in conservation.

Tags: Agriculture, DEIJ