by Lisa Schauer
Neighbors came out to The Farm at Coco’s Corner on Heavenly Acres Ridge Saturday, May 20 for a family fun day that included pony rides, chicken races, a mystery egg hunt, visits with the animals, baked treats and burgers on the grill.
“I’m glad they’re here. I love it. Anything for the kids,” said volunteer Theresa Hess, a retired Hancock school teacher and neighbor, tending to the concession stand.
Owner Virginia Coco, Ph.D., is a certified therapeutic riding instructor. She oversees the farm’s therapeutic riding program, intended for people with disabilities and other challenges including the effects of trauma and PTSD.
Coco and her husband, a preacher with No Other Name Ministries, moved here from Arizona over a year ago to be closer to family. While
living in Arizona, the Cocos operated a similar therapeutic riding center.
The five-acre Farm at Coco’s Corner includes several well-trained quarter horses, a couple of driving mini horses, chickens, dogs and a pen full of Nigerian dwarf goats. The Cocos built a large barn on the property, a ring and runs for the animals alongside outdoor playground equipment and a picnic area.
An adjacent seven acres is under contract, and will be the site of future greenhouses, an orchard and a community garden, where people can learn square-foot gardening, according to Coco.
“With Hancock being a food desert, we want to involve the community in a community garden, where we can teach people they can produce enough food to make it worthwhile. We’re working with the Washington County Extension Office on the project,” said Coco.
People from ages seven to 99 can come to the farm to be outside and build self-confidence, according to Coco. Summer camps, horsemanship and riding lessons, and equine-assisted activities and therapies are available at the farm.
If families don’t have the money for lessons, kids can work at the stable for eight hours to earn one hour of riding lessons through the farm’s working student program.
Through the Hope Scholarship Program, West Virginia families with foster children or children with special needs may be eligible to attend the farm’s summer camp program free of charge.
Anyone who wants more information about The Farm at Coco’s Corner can call 301-491-4986.