Why Hire People with Disabilities?

Vol. 2 Issue 1 Newsletter Date This Program is sponsored by Volume 1, Issue 1 Got Lettuce! Arthur & Friends has been hard at work setting up the gre...
Author: Ruth Hines
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Vol. 2 Issue 1

Newsletter Date This Program is sponsored by Volume 1, Issue 1

Got Lettuce! Arthur & Friends has been hard at work setting up the greenhouse at Maple Farm in Wantage, NJ! It took months of work to get the greenhouse set up for our hydroponic growing system with the majority of the work focused on getting the floor level. The pictures at the left illustrate the many stages of the transformation. We began with the greenhouse still full from the previous years planting of tomatoes, squash and pepper plants in raised beds that had an underground irrigation system, which had to be dismantled and removed. Next the floor had to be leveled and pea gravel… 28 tons … had to be spread overtop of the surface. It was an exciting day when the big green tractor trailer arrived from California with our system. We had to unload the entire trailer by hand and then move everything to the greenhouse for assembly. The next step was to put the 124’ of growing tables together, which six very hardworking volunteers each gave many dozens of hours to the project. Then we discovered that the tables were not truly level and everything had to come down. We started out thinking that flat was level enough but as it turned out a hydroponic system requires that the floor be perfectly level from end-to-end and sided to side. We were off by 12” from the front of the greenhouse to the back and 6” from side-to-side. A bit discouraged, we began the re-leveling process. Continues on page 2

Why Hire People with Disabilities? There are many compelling reasons to hire people with disabilities. Many businesses report that the experience of working with people with disabilities increases every employee’s morale and productivity. Why? Because they possess a “culture of humor” and impart that culture into the workforce.

tasks others may take for granted. Additionally they are technology innovators because they have to be.

Loyalty and gratefulness are sterling characteristics that all employers seek, yet seldom find in their staff. Employees with disabilities have proved to be dependable, dedicated, hardworking and productive employees.

By raising awareness that your company is a disability-friendly business, you will attract job candidates and new customers. A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Boston's Center for Social Development & Education (2006) reports," overwhelmingly positive attitudes among consumers toward socially responsible companies, and in particular toward those that hire individuals with disabilities. Specifically, 92 percent of consumers surveyed felt more favorable toward companies that hire individuals with

Where workers often shun routine-based tasks, individuals with disabilities prove to be effective, efficient and target-based and happy to see their success in a job well-done! People with disabilities possess valuable problem-solving skills because they are experts in finding creative ways to perform

This amazing group of people, though diverse in so many ways all know how to overcome challenges and even more importantly how to stay calm in a situation.

Continues on page 5

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Greenhouse News

Got Lettuce! … Continued from page 1 By mid-June we were finally be able to plant our first seeds and began harvesting our first lettuce in mid July. With the help of our volunteers and “Friends” we’ now have Lettuce for sale! Currently there 14 “friends” a dozen hard working volunteers who give their time regularly and over 52 committed individuals that are ready when we need assistance. We have 48 people on our “Friends” waiting list… all eager to participate in our training program. In October as the cold winds began to blow, the wonderful directors of the State Fair Grounds in Augusta came to the farm to see our progress. They were amazed and delighted to see the greenhouse filled with beautiful lettuce and agreed to let us to move our entire operation to the quarteracre greenhouse at the State Fair grounds where heat, level floors and state-of-the-art ventilation was available. Arthur & Friends especially want to acknowledge Brian Naftal, who first learned about Arthur & Friends when he attended the fair, this past August. Like many curious people he asked

to come for a visit and see what we were doing. We love visitors and set a time on the Saturday right after we had heard that we were moving. He asked, “What do you need next?” My husband said, “ We need a truck!” Brian replied “ I have a box truck and if you can get some people to help… I bring it up and help you move!” The very next Sunday, 25 people showed up at 8:00 in the morning and loaded Brian’s HUGE box truck and moved everything to our new location at the State Fair Grounds in Augusta, New Jersey. We were excited and with the help of volunteers, “Friends” and their families and students from Pass-It-Along in less then six hours we were moved and back in business. Please check out our “Heroes” column we have so many people to be thankful to for all their support, help, donation and encouragement So now as the cold winds of January blow we are warm in our new greenhouse and growing acres of produce. Be sure to check out the list of available items in this newsletter.

Helping a disabled person House chores are often on the bottom of everyone's to-do list. So when a disabled family member or friend needs assistance, we often prefer to let someone else help out with that person's housework since we usually have enough of our own. But cleaning, washing, and sweeping need not become time-intensive tasks. 1. Work the chores into your schedule. If you are visiting a disabled person on a regular basis, ask which day would be best for you to come early or stay late, probably no more than an hour or so. Then find out what type of supplies or equipment you will need to handle a few clean-up chores. Make a list and take those things with you so you will be all ready to get into action when the time comes. 2. Don't make the disabled person feel like a nuisance. Remain cheerful and enjoy your visit before or after your housework. Make the socialization the center of your visit and let the work be a marginal issue. Don't insist on doing anything the friend does not want you to. Don't leave cleaning supplies or equipment out where your disabled loved one might trip over them later. 3. Work smart. Let a load of laundry wash while you clean up the dishes. Sweep the floor after gathering trash, and then take out the garbage when you leave. Don't plan to do too much or you will end up spending too much time on chores and perhaps make your host feel guilty. 4. Clean up after your work. Put all cleaning products away. Make sure all surfaces, and especially uncarpeted floors, are dry before you let the disabled person walk on them. Fold and put away clothes and towels so they will be available when needed. 5. Follow the disabled person's directions. Even though you may feel as though you have a better way of handling things, remember that this is your host's house, and things should be done according to his or her wishes. Of course, if the person's preferences are vastly different from yours or you are unable to do things as he or she wishes, let that task go for someone else to do.

Greenhouse News

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ARUGULA AND RICOTTA PESTO Makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for 1 lb of pasta. Note that when adding any pesto to cooked pasta it is important to include three or four tablespoons of the cooked pasta water for proper consistency and even distribution. This pesto can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days if covered with a sheet of plastic wrap or a thin film of oil. INGREDIENTS 3 medium cloves garlic , unpeeled ! cup pine nuts (or walnuts or almonds) 1 cup arugula (packed), washed and dried thoroughly 1 cup fresh parsley leaves (packed), washed and dried thoroughly 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup ricotta cheese 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Table salt and ground black pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Toast garlic in small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until softened and spotty brown, about 8 minutes; when cool, remove and discard skins. While garlic cools, toast nuts in skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Place arugula and parsley in heavy-duty, quart-sized, zipper-lock plastic bag; bruise all leaves with meat pounder. 3. In work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process garlic, nuts, arugula, parsley, and oil until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down sides of bowl. Transfer mixture to small bowl and stir in cheeses; season to taste with salt and pepper. Recommended by John Franz… Arthur & Friends’ Executive Chef

Do you routinely toss fresh lettuce and herbs because they've gone bad before you've gotten a chance to use them? Keep them fresher, longer by storing them in vases of water, bouquet-style. Here's how: Select a clean vase or glass with a mouth wide enough to accommodate the bunch of herbs. Make sure the container you choose is deep enough to hold the stems, but not so deep that the herb leaves will be submerged underwater. Add at least 1 to 2 inches of water to the vase. Let the depth and shape of the vase guide you -- the object is to provide enough water to keep the herbs fresh, and to make sure the herb roots can reach the water. Remove any leaves that would fall below the waterline.. Place the plants in the vase, and set the vase near a window or in a well-lit area. Sun-loving herbs like basil can be stored this way at room temperature. If you prefer to refrigerate your herbs, tent a plastic bag over the vase.

This beautiful Arugula has so much more flavor that what you typically find in the stores…and yes that is what 10oz of Arthur & Friends’ Arugula looks like!

This program is funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Kessler Foundation and we are extremely grateful for their support!

Caring for your Hydro Produce

Arthur & Friends is sponsored by

Kessler Foundation is a public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, injuries to the brain and spinal cord, and other chronic conditions. The Foundation’s approach is twofold—supporting rehabilitation research through the Kessler Research Center and preparing individuals for the workplace through the Kessler Program Center. Through its Research Center, the Foundation achieves steady scientific gains in ways to improve physical rehabilitation. Through its Program Center, the Foundation provides support that ensures vocational training and placement opportunities for people with disabilities in our communities.

This technique works best with plants that still have roots attached like our hydo-plants, which thrive particularly well, and will sometimes send new roots into the water. Another advantage -- since you'll see and smell the herbs, you're more likely to use them than if they were languishing in the fridge drawer. Enjoy!

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Greenhouse News

What’s for Sale @ Arthur & Friends Fresh Herb Bouquet: Enjoy 20 oz (5 oz. each) of the most popular herbs: Parsley, Basil, Cilantro and Arugula. These herbs are provided with their roots intact so that you can place them in water in a sunny window and enjoy them for weeks. Assorted Microgreens: Our microgreen package is a blend of several tender herbs and greens creating a fantastic array of colors and textures with sensational opportunities to enhance the finest dishes. Chefs who appreciate using MicroGreens will find tremendous culinary versatility with our products. These are much more substantial in structure and flavor and add a very sophisticated touch to any entrée including deserts. Swiss Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is antiinflammatory Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Bibb Butterhead often referred to simply as butter lettuce, encompasses both the Boston and Bibb (often referred to as limestone) varieties. Butterhead lettuces consist of small heads with soft, supple, "buttery- textured" leaves renowned for their delicate flavor. Although often referred to and used interchangeably, Bibb and Boston possess unique characteristics. Boston lettuce tends to be larger, more tender, sweeter and milder. Bibb lettuce has smaller leaves that are slightly darker with a more pronounced, almost pungent, flavor.

Romaine lettuce grows in a long head of sturdy leaves, which have a firm rib down their centers. Not all lettuce is created equal, but if you start your meal with a salad made with this romaine lettuce you will be sure to add not only a variety of textures and flavors to your meal but an enormous amount of nutritional value. Romaine is the classic lettuce of choice for Caesar salads. Red Romaine The interior leaves are paler in color, and more delicate in flavor. This is a milder tasting variety with red tipped leaves and a sweet romaine, which is even sweeter than regular romaine. Romaine is the classic lettuce of choice for Caesar salads. Red Oakleaf A leaf lettuce variety that has long leaves with very ruffled edges that are green toward the interior of the head and are red on the outer portion of the head. The leaves are tender and mildly flavored. Asian Greens Tatsoi A ground-hugging member of the bok choy family, also known as rosette bok choy for its conformation: The round, thick, very dark green leaves grow in tight, concentric circles like rose petals. With its slightly bitter flavor, tatsoi is excellent raw (when young) in salads, and adds spark to Asian-style soups when tossed in at the last minute. Choho Tasty and versatile all season Asian cut and come again green. Its dark green semi savoyed leaves can be used in salads, stir fries or pickled. Pak Choi has 6 to 8 inch tall green vase shaped - heads with broad, pale green crunchy leaf stalks that contrast handsomely with their dark green leaves. The heads grow multiple stalks that form an urn shape. Pak Choi has a slightly sweet, very mild cabbage flavor and very juicy stalks. Separate and chop both stalks and leaves to use and stir fry with scallions, fresh ginger and garlic, then finishing with soy or Thai peanut sauce Continues on Page 7 Brian Blanchard Carolyn Swayze

Greenhouse News Why Hire the Disabled disabilities, and 87 percent said they would prefer to give their business to such companies. Among those surveyed, hiring people with disabilities ranked third behind offering health insurance to all employees and protecting the "environment as an indicator of a company's commitment to social justice." By actively recruiting, hiring and promoting workers with disabilities companywide, and building strategic alliances with the disability community, businesses send a powerful message that results in a stronger workforce and increased numbers of customers. By weaving an accessible welcome mat for employees and customers with disabilities, and activating a disability- inclusive diversity policy, companies can sharpen their competitive edge and build brand loyalty by tapping this emerging $1 trillion market segment.

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Top 10 Reasons to Hire People with Disabilities 1. Employees with disabilities can ease concerns about labor supply. 2. People with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher retention rates and lower absenteeism. 3. Employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending. 4. Diverse work groups can create better solutions to business challenges. 5. People with disabilities are better educated than ever, and are proven to have met and/or exceeded challenges. 6. A person with a disability motivates work groups and increases productivity. 7. Companies that hire and accommodate people with disabilities in their workplaces can receive tax benefits. 8. Employing people with disabilities is good for the individual, the business, and society. This is a "win-win-win" strategy. 9. People with disabilities are motivated by the desire to give something back, and by opportunities for personal growth, job flexibility and social inclusion. 10. It's ability, not disability that counts.

Looking ahead… Sustainability …Because hydroponic farming requires less water and less land than traditional field farming, researchersturned-growers in some U.S. cities see it as ideal to bring agriculture to apartment buildings, rooftops and vacant lots. The goal is to look at growing food crops in small spaces. Long a niche technology existing in the shadow of conventional growing methods, hydroponics is getting a second look from university researchers and public health advocates. Supporters point to the environmental cost of trucking produce from farms to cities, the loss of wilderness for farmland to feed a growing world population, and the risk of bacteria along extensive, insecure food chains as reasons for establishing urban hydroponic farms. The roots of hydroponically produced fruits and vegetables can dangle in direct contact with water or be set in growing media such as sponges or shredded coconut shells. Most commercial operations pump water through sophisticated sensors that automatically adjust nutrient and acidity levels in the water. Hydroponics are generally used for fast-growing, high-value crops such as lettuces and tomatoes that can be produced year-round in heated, well-lit greenhouses. So far, production is not large enough for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to track. The country's largest hydroponic greenhouse is Eurofresh Inc.'s 274-acre operation in southeastern Arizona, where more than 200 million pounds of tomatoes were produced in 2008. Most large-scale commercial operations are in the arid Southwest, where water-efficiency is prized, or the sometimes-frigid Northeast, where the method can be used year-round in heated greenhouses. Arthur & Friends is looking forward to expansion in 2009…

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Greenhouse News

Message from the Project Director I do not have the words to express the incredible gratitude I am feeling to all of you for believing in Arthur & Friends... for taking a dream and making it a reality. Arthur said to me that for the first time in his life he feels hopeful and happy about his future... In his words "be true to your dreams and you will be a star in your own destiny." These are profound words indeed. I cried on the way home from a NORWESCAP golf outing, as Arthur talked non-stop about how "genuine" everyone's support is. That people talked more to him as a person than ever before. He was no longer the man with Down Syndrome but now he was a man who would make the world a better place and who had found his place in the world.

The value of a life with disabilities Most of society sees people with disabilities as persons who are flawed, pitiful and without dignity. But we see

In speaking with his mother that night she remarked that she has never heard such joy and happiness in his voice ... ever. She said he looked like he had grown two inches... standing tall and sharing the wonderful experiences of the day. I realized too that the first part of our mission... to change the perception of people with disabilities... was accomplished... 95 people saw beyond his disability...a person with abilities, intelligence, humor and a true heart. Arthur's amazing ability to remember everyone's name blew me away... Ken said this, Pat said this... Terry that and Mike said... They are the nicest people in the world I wish there was a way I could help them they way they have helped me." Thank you! Wendie Blanchard

Arthur Writes Our Theme Song

ourselves as a vital and proud community, with values of our own that enhance our quality of life, values that could enhance life for all. Jim Deep

Be a Star in Your own Destiny

Wish List

By Arthur Blanchard

Big Things: Lab coats (20 in various sizes) Photocopier Refrigerators Computer(s)

I never thought that I could be a hero I never thought that I could feel so proud When everything seemed stacked against me I never thought that I could make a difference And everyday was just the just the same But now I know I can and this is why And I felt that it could never change I heard the words my heart said to me Chorus Be a star in your own destiny Chorus Be true to your dreams Succeed in your dreams and be a success Now I know it is my choice Feel your dreams, hold onto your dreams, And I alone can choose the path I take be that dream. So I choose to help others to help them find If people put you down, don't give up. their inner dream Be strong, be happy and So come on everybody and make your dream make your wishes come true come true.

Little Things: Reams of paper 3 ring binders Tabbed dividers for binders Seeds Nutrients Neoprene gloves Hats, T-Shirts Pens/pencils Printer Ink cartridges

Greenhouse News

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What’s for Sale @ Arthur & Friends continued from page 4 Mesclun Mix Also called gourmet salad or baby salad mix, mesclun is simply a mix of lettuce harvested at a very immature stage, when the leaves are very small and tender. Mesclun has a superior taste and more delicate texture than most ordinary salad greens and is of consistently high quality year round. According to the Department of Agriculture, it is six times as nutritious as iceberg lettuce and has fewer chemical residues than mature greens because it's harvested so young. Mesclun is a colorful, tasty. instant salad that requires no more than the addition of a good dressing before serving. Our Mesclun seldom contains fewer than a dozen different kinds of lettuce. Savory Gourmet Salad Mix is a symphony of fresh, tangy flavors and vibrant colors - green, red, and white. This tasty blend looks great the bowl. We've mixed 3 of our popular leaf lettuces ('Green Ice', 'Mighty Red Oak'and 'Prizeleaf') with exotic salad greens like Mizuna (a Chinese cabbage that is as fine and frilly as 'Fizz E' endive). The mix also has a red-stem beet (for pungent earthy flavor) and an endive that looks like a dandelion but is more tender and mild. Bon appetite! Herbs Basil is most commonly recommended to be used fresh in cooked recipes, it is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water. Arugula is an aromatic salad green. It is also known as rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola, and is popular in Italian cuisine. Like most salad greens, Arugula is very low in calories and is high in vitamins A and C. A 1/2 cup serving is two calories. Arugula was grown for both its leaves and the seed. On another interesting note, Rocket or Arugula has been used as an ingredient in aphrodisiac concoctions dating back to the first century, AD. Parsley A sprig of parsley can provide much more than a decoration on your plate. Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Highly nutritious, parsley is the world's most popular herb. Cilantro is an herb with wide delicate lacy green leaves and a pungent flavor. The seed of the cilantro plant is known as coriander. Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavors are very different and cannot be substituted for each other. (Some countries refer to the cilantro as coriander, so any references to "fresh coriander" or "coriander leaves" refer to cilantro.)

Heroes! Brian Blanchard Carolyn Swayze Rod Hanson Scott Steinetz The Entire Steinetz Family! Melanie Holster Josh Cuppek Mary Miraldi Christopher & Dawn Bump George Molient Tom Digby Simon Ireland Brian Naftal Cassie Pfister Rampo University Students of Spanish Writing Judy Marinaro Bob Marinaro Mark Crotty Patricia Pavez Pat Wilson Connie Smith Barbara Knowles Judy McMahon Jane Varley Pass-It-Along Wakefern & Ronetco Shoprite Stores Maureen Verbeek The New Jersey State Fair Committee Louise Vanderhaegen The Mentor Group SCARC D.A.W.N Bea Bico and Family Michelle & Jack Decker American Hydroponics, Inc. Tony Marino Scott & Barbara Deangelis Sussex County Charter School Bill Weightman Jack Patten and the MSW WIB The Kessler Foundation Sivaraman Anbarasan The New Jersey Herald Vernon Rotary Newton Rotary Hampton Rotary Walkill Rotary The Employment Specialist Newton Memorial Hospital Noah & Susan Blanchard Doug & Carol Blanchard

Quotes on Making a Difference

How to contact us… Arthur & Friends 908 Wall Street Newton, NJ 07860

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Phone: 973-579-1996 Fax: 973-579-3080 E-Mail: [email protected]

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• See us at: www.norwescap.org

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and soon at: www.arthurandfriends.org

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We are seeking restaurants, garden centers, businesses and interested individuals to participate and join Arthur & Friends in our efforts in “Cultivating a Better Planet.” This Program is sponsored by

908 Wall Street Newton, NJ 07860

Tom Brokaw: It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference. Paul "Bear" Bryant: It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference. Anonymous: Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic. Ayn Rand: Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. Confucius: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. Robert Frost: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Stevie Wonder: We all have ability. The difference is how we use it. Marian Wright Edelman: We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Uta Hagen: We must overcome the notion that we must be regular... it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre. Earvin Magic Johnson: You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it.

Cultivating a Better Planet This issue of Arthur & Friends’ Greenhouse News is dedicated to the memory of Jane Nash Steinetz whose loving heart was always open to everyone and who gave generously throughout her life! She made a difference!