LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — In 2014, Maya Wechsler, Greg Masucci, and their children, Max and Delilah, relocated to Bluemont to start over. With little farming experience, they launched their nonprofit, A Farm Less Ordinary, in 2016. Max has severe autism, and his parents wanted to make sure he and other folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities had a chance at a “normal” life.
A Farm Less Ordinary’s employees are paid minimum wage or higher to plant and harvest crops and sell them at the Leesburg Farmers Market.
“We’re always looking for things that will build on skill sets they have, because what we want to do is create the best model of employees we can to be able to plug them into the employment matrix elsewhere in society,” Masucci said.
Because of their remote location, however, Masucci says many of their employees are traveling up to 90 minutes one way to get to work.
This spring, Leesburg resident Lynne Wright was at a gardening event, where she fell in love with A Farm Less Ordinary’s mission…and its logo: a rooster with cow spots. Soon after, she and her husband offered up about three acres of their land off of Gleedsville Road.
“She had a greenhouse on premises, she had a separate well, she had land she wasn’t using, and she really supported our cause… and also she’s just a terrifically wonderful person,” said Masucci.
While the Wrights’ 23 acres of land used to be a 19th century working farm, Lynne says they were only mowing it. “We don’t know when they stopped working it but we wanted to do whatever we could to keep that,” said Wright.
She had her own business for 10 years, which she operated out of her greenhouse. Instead of letting it sit empty, she looked to nonprofits to take it over.
Farming won’t start until February, but Greg, Maya, and the Wright family are hosting a ribbon cutting on the afternoon of November 1. It’s not just a ribbon cutting, though; they’re looking for volunteers to get to work that same day.
Greg and Maya are also looking for a new tractor for their second location. Their first was donated to them. Meanwhile, they’re hosting their Third Annual Fall Swing Tournament at Topgolf Loudoun on October 20 at 1:30.