Shelburne Free Press
Export date: Sat Jul 20 18:57:52 2019 / +0000 GMT

Visit Canada’s first therapeutic farm at local Farmers’ Market


The Shelburne Farmers' Market has added another new vendor to the roster of locally produced goods and services.

Fiddlehead Care Farm (FCF) is a non-profit, fully accessible, therapeutic care farm for children, youth and young adults with developmental, physical and behavioural needs in a caring, supportive environment. Patrons of the Shelburne Farmers' Market can visit them Thursdays from 3-7pm at the First Street location in Shelburne.

Founder Stephanie Deaken says, “Using a UK-based farming model, we provide vulnerable people the opportunity to learn, build and grow through a range of hands-on farming activities and therapies combined.” The Care Farm opened in 2016, two years after Stephanie and her husband, Darryl Deaken, bought the property to raise their family in the country.

Stephanie Deaken says she and her business partner, Breanne Mathers, “share a common passion for supporting children in creative ways with a variety of physical, developmental and mental health needs. We saw the power nature has on the healing process and knew that our therapeutic business had to take place outside and not in an institutional setting. With the help and hard work of farmer Darryl by our side we opened up Canada's first care farm.”

Stephanie says, “Care farming is very popular in other countries. And although we have a variety of therapeutic farms in the area, we are the first to use the “care farm” terminology and follow the UK care farming model and guidelines. We have been a leader in setting the standard for care farming and get visitors and inquiries from all over the world now about care farming practices. We hope to create a regulatory body for Canada's care farming one day.

Their model has been seeing great success with business tripling in 2018. “Word about our therapeutic success rate and the fun we have on the farm is getting out there,” says Stephanie. “We booked more school groups than ever before all spring and successfully supported double the amount of summer campers with a variety of needs compared to our previous year. We provide individual and family counselling at the farm and are hearing very positive feedback from families about how our setting has made such a difference in their child's mood and coping.”

As fall approaches and kids go back to school, Stephanie says, “We often see heightened negative emotions in our kids due to anxiety, worries and fears, increased pressure, and changes in routine and social relationships.” Fiddle Care Farm is there “to help and encourage parents to look at alternative settings to support their children through challenging times and life changes.”

For more information on Fiddlehead Care Farm, located on the 25th Side road in Mono, and the services they provide visit: or call 647-624-8421.

Post date: 2018-08-30 13:34:30
Post date GMT: 2018-08-30 17:34:30

Post modified date: 2018-09-06 12:56:28
Post modified date GMT: 2018-09-06 16:56:28

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