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Roses for Autism


This beautiful idea was started by a father, Jim Lyman, whose son, Eli, has autism. He wanted to help his son and others grow in independence in the business world.

In his search for just the right place to put his ideas to work,  Jim Lyman partnered with Tom Pinchbeck of Pinchbeck’s Rose Farm in Guilford, Connecticut.

Growing Possibilities” was born… a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to growing independence in the business world for those with autism and other disabilities.

When you buy your flowers from the picturesque New England farm, you’ll put a smile on the face of the person you’ll give them too and you’ll help the young adults learning to make their way in the world. As is customary your roses are always wrapped in newspaper, the old fashioned way…just charming.

There is an original 1928 boiler in this place that is not to be believed…looks like something out of Harry Potter. I told Tom Pinchbeck they need to put the place on the list for movie shoots since the state is doing so many films here. What a background that would be, actually the whole farm really.

My tour guide for the morning as Lori Gregan, retail manager for Roses for Autism, though she wears many hats. She exudes passion and compassion. She told me about the universal symbol for autism, it’s a puzzle piece.

I can tell you when I bought my bouquet of lavender roses, the fragrance filled my car, that never happens when you buy flowers from a grocery store. Pinchbeck knows what he’s doing and so do his employees.

That organization’s first business, started in 2009, is “Roses for Autism.”

Currently about 40% of the workers are on the autism spectrum, that will grow to 60% in time.

Since the late 1920’s when the Pinchbeck Farm first opened, tens of millions of roses have been grown and sold in it’s 50,000 square feet of heated greenhouse space.

Some fun facts about the farm:

There are at least 32,000 roses bushes and soon a variety of lilies will be added.
There are more than one dozen varieties of roses grown the majority of which are red.
Contact for Roses for Autism:

Julie Hipp
203-284-1200 ext. 232 (phone)
203-294-4800  (fax)

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Ann Nyberg


  1. Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What a great post! And what fabulous people! From one mom of a son with autism … please pass along my thanks. The people who are breaking barriers now by employing special needs kids will make it so much easier for my son as he grows up.

  2. Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Brenda, thanks so much for writing in. “Roses for Autism” is doing an amazing job.

  3. Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    This is a really, really a fabulous idea and enterprise. The best way possible to order roses.

    • Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Sande. Also thanks so much for putting me on your blogroll.