Imagine a local small business specializing in growing and delivering colorful and artistically arranged bouquets of flowers throughout three central North Carolina communities. Imagine that this business is so well supported by a wide range of dedicated community organizations and individuals, that for every signature bouquet of flowers sold this enterprise is also able to provide a free bouquet of flowers to an individual living in a nursing home, or to a teacher, or a social worker- someone who is often overlooked or unappreciated in our society. And finally, imagine that these flowers are grown, cultivated, designed, and delivered by a young man in the community living with autism. A young man who has started this small business to promote the belief that having a disability does not prohibit someone from contributing to the world in a beautiful way.
“blawesome” (pronounced ‘blossom’) is a socially responsible, for-profit, innovative microenterprise that supports the vocational and social growth of a young man with a disability. When you choose to source your flowers from “blawesome,” you are not only receiving a beautiful product, grown locally and sustainably, but you are also perpetuating a cycle of community building that allows an individual living with autism an opportunity to participate in purposeful work, to develop meaningful relationships (both with nature and people), and to alter the existing paradigm that currently places individuals with disabilities in positions where they are often the served, and seldom the server. When you choose “blawesome,” you are not only bringing the beauty of our flowers to your special event, but you are shining a light on equality, kindness, and connection with the world.
Launching March 2018
In the United States...
of adults diagnosed with autism are unemployed or underemployed
of adults diagnosed with autism live with chronic depression
adults in the US with autism live with caregivers who are over the age of 60
How do we turn this around? At Blawesome, we are not just thinking outside the box, we are literally thinking outside.
Social Care Farming
Blawesome Farm is a small part of a larger movement known as Social Care Farming. Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices to improve health, social, and vocational outcomes for vulnerable populations. While not for everyone, farming provides a wide range of options for many populations who are currently experiencing a very limited range of opportunities to participate in meaningful work, connect with nature, and engage with their community. At Blawesome, we believe that a purpose driven life and a healthy relationship with Mother Earth go a long way towards mitigating many of the adverse mental and physical health conditions experienced by over half of the adult population living with autism. In fact, we have been given the extraordinary gift of watching the effects of social care farming on Raimee, our young farmer, as he begins his transition into adulthood and sets the course for a life lived as fully and independently as possible. Truly, we are watching this young man grow and blossom.
Visit our resources page (coming soon!) to learn more about Social Care Farming, Autism, and what you can do to support Blawesome and similar projects in the community.