Postiglione-Dupell said the new indoor arena will cost $140,000. She already had it designed and is just waiting to raise enough money to begin construction. So far, she has saved $12,000 from fees at Medicine Horse and has put the money in a capital building fund.
The new facility will be temperature controlled, which would make it easier for some with disabilities to have therapy sessions, Postiglione-Dupell said.
“For our medically fragile folks, temperature affects their medical condition,” she said.
Another waiting area and bathroom would also be featured in the new building.
“Everything goes back into this,” Postiglione-Dupell said of the farm.
For the farm’s gardening program, everything is organic, “right down to the mulch, the compost,” which comes from the farm’s five horses, Postiglione-Dupell said.
Participants in this year’s program planted their own Three Sisters garden with pumpkins, peas and corn, a kind of Native American companion-planting technique using mounds.
The idea is that the three crops take care of each other just as the gardener takes care of them, Postiglione-Dupell said.
Participants were fully involved in the planting, tending and harvesting the crops from their garden. Broom corn was made into brooms that the participants will give away as Thanksgiving gifts. They also grew popping corn, sugar pumpkins for cooking and knucklehead pumpkins for carving.
“They’re present in the task,” she said of the participants. Garden therapy involves sensory stimulation, which helps keep them alert and focused, she said.
Many of Postiglione-Dupell’s participants have varying forms of autism and benefit from hands-on learning, along with working and learning from nature. Others who benefit from the therapy have such disabilities as cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder, Down syndrome, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, paralysis, stroke, traumatic brain injury and substance abuse issues.