Grow – October 2021

People grow at New Danville, and New Danville’s range of services grows to meet the needs of those who need us. A recent growth step includes the addition of respite service for the community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Does your family member need to get away and spend a night or a weekend in an idyllic country setting? Or perhaps you need to go out of town for a night or two. New Danville is proud to announce its revived respite program to the community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

You will enjoy staying in a fully furnished “cabin” on the beautiful New Danville campus. Stays can be booked for a night, a weekend, or longer. The cabin is fully furnished with a twin bed, dining area, TV, and washer and dryer. Guests can also elect to participate in the day program for an additional fee. All guests must be able to take care of their basic needs without staff support.

New Danville takes pride in providing a safe, caring, and professional environment. Come for a visit, and stay for the night!

For more information and pricing, contact us at office@newdanville.org, or call Bryan Gill at 936-534-9111.


Grow – September 2021

You can’t grow a garden without seeds and you can’t harvest without someone to tend the plants. The same goes for projects, like the aquaponics garden at New Danville. What Mike Bodman and his family planted as a project has been maintained by Wranglers under the guidance of Direct Support Professional, James Scott, and the efforts of Wranglers and many volunteers.

James & Mike

Mike’s middle son is a Wrangler, and in his involvement with New Danville, he saw that a great greenhouse was being greatly underutilized. A sequence of actions moved from concept to construction of a hydroponics garden and aquaponics operation.

“The Wranglers love it,” James said. “And I do, too. I’ve learned a lot from Mike and his volunteers, and sometimes I get advice from my uncle who is a great gardener. Some Wranglers get bored quickly, but others love to get dirty and work hard. Personally, I love being able to grow something that becomes food for others to eat. My grandfather was a farmer too; this is in my blood.”

Mike said that there are plans for doubling the fish tank volume and quadrupling the planting area. “When we reach this scale we hope to be reliably producing enough fresh produce to sell to local businesses and employ a few Wranglers to operate the system on a daily basis. Already the system is supplying herb plants for sale at Jazzy Junque. The great part is that the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Association Aquaponics team and other Master Gardeners have come to visit New Danville and like what they see. As COVID restrictions ease more MG’s want to get involved as volunteers at New Danville. They have some interesting ideas for Wranglers to become involved in.”

New Danville may not be pushing the Green Giant out of the valley anytime soon, but over time it will become better known for its tasty produce.


Grow – August 2021

Friendships and physical activities are a big part of our growth. 
Earlier this month, our friends at Bridgewood Farms helped us meet both of these needs. 

The Friendship Day included sending 25 Wranglers and staff for a fun-filled morning of volleyball.  Not sure who won, but the folks at Bridgewood Farms get extra points for their hospitality.  After working up an appetite on the volleyball court, everyone was treated to a wonderful lunch.   Looking forward to hosting our new friends at New Danville later this fall.


Catch and Release

A new addition to the list of activities available to Wranglers is storytelling. Okay, it’s not storytelling. It is fishing, but that’s the same thing, right?

Blue spincast reels and red tackle box

Thanks to the generosity of our neighbor, Ranger Oilfield Products, the Wranglers can now learn how to fish at the beautiful, stocked, easy-to-access lake on the company’s campus. The class is called Catch and Release, and the first fishing trip occurred in early June.

Adults with disabilities enjoying fishing

Colt is already hooked on fishing, all puns intended, even though he has not yet had a chance to take one of the trips. His taste for angling in pursuit of Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass) now whetted, he proudly announced, “I got a new fishing rod. It is long, six-foot eight, and has a camouflage pattern. I will let others borrow it if they want.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for him and others to use it. According to Nicole Martinez, day program coordinator, “We have had to juggle our schedule a lot because of the rain and muddy conditions, but there is a lot of interest among the Wranglers to wet a line.” 

Adults with disabilities enjoying fishing

Debbie Rigsby, a direct support professional who works with our Wranglers IIs (clients who need more assistance and attention), took them on the first fishing trip.  “Even with their short attention spans, they had a lot of fun. We enjoyed taking fish off their hooks for them and rebaiting because we knew they were about to have fun catching another soon,” she said.

Several more fishing trips are on the schedule for the summer. As the trips continue, the stories of the ones that got away will certainly become more and more creative. Matt Harughty, director of sales for Ranger Oilfield Products, assured that there are some beauties in the retention pond turned catch-and-release fishing lake. “I hope I’m there the day a Wrangler gets a really nice one,” Matt said. “I’m sure the expression on their face will be priceless.”


From farm to table…well, almost

From farm to table…well, almost. New Danville Wranglers have been busy growing various vegetables in the recently re-started aquaponics program. The “Freeze of 2021” took a toll on the fish used in the program (luckily the plants were fine!), even though they were in our heated greenhouse. Our operation is back in business, and one of the first products to make it to market is basil that is grown here. We sell the basil at our re-sale store, Jazzy Junque that is located in the south end of Outlets at Conroe. Store staff members tell us that the basil sells fast!  We look forward to making more of our herbs and vegetables available as the program expands.

“Farm to table” usually refers to fruit and vegetables that are sold directly by the producer to the purchaser. With the rise of farmer’s markets and co-ops, the opportunities for consumers to buy fresh produce directly from the farmers are increasing.

Thanks to the volunteer efforts of many, spearheaded by Mike Bodmand, and the Montgomery County Master Gardeners (MCMG), New Danville was able to begin growing vegetables in an aquaponics set up in our greenhouse. MCMG’s aquaponics group was interested in expanding their skills, and setting up a near-commercial scale system in New Danville’s greenhouse provided a perfect opportunity.

We hope to be able to scale up enough with aquaponics and outdoor gardens sufficiently enough to attend nearby farmers’ markets in the future. 

A special thanks to the MCMG Aquaponics Group construction crew for their time and talents: Mike Cooley, Fred Nash, Jason Hayes, Theresa Gunlock, Steven Lumbley, Ginny Bodman and Mike Bodman.

 




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