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A Salsa Jar Full of Hope


As a parent, few things will keep you up in the night more than worrying about the future of your children. As a parent of a child with disabilities, you are thankful for the few nights of peaceful sleep that you do get.

I have a beautiful daughter named Cate who has Down syndrome, and like many people with disabilities, her life is busy with school until she turns 21. After 21 when she finishes school, her future is not as certain. But now I’m sleeping a bit sounder.

Mary Tutterow has been helping all of us who have children with disabilities sleep a little more soundly since she started Healing Farms. This organization works to teach people skills they can use to find a job, as well as provides social support to the young adults and hope to their families. Her philosophy is that everyone can contribute regardless of the scope of their disability.

Photo by Christina Oxford
Photo by Christina Oxford

Healing Farms’ latest venture is a tasty tomato salsa called “Super Simple Salsa.” The idea arrived after they received donated flats of tomato plants. With help from the community (men’s groups and youth groups and garden groups), a garden eventually yielded so many tomatoes that they were left with the dilemma: what to do with them all?

After making tomato sauce and canning tomatoes and gifting the fruit to friends and family, they decided to make salsa. They made their first large batch of salsa with the help of Le Creuset in the kitchen at their North American headquarters, and since then have been making it on their own.

Delicious job training indeed.