Nova Scotia Farm Succeeds with Community Initiatives

The Bonny Lea Farm team and David Outhouse in Nova Scotia, feel that having connected growing their business and the community is as organic as the products they make to support the green life style.

The current demand for their garden mulch product (mixed blend of hemlock, composted chicken and mulch) is exploding. Their factory will seeon be expanding creating opportunities with special needs in its process.

For more than 40 years, the Chester-based operation has been helping young people with intellectual disabilities develop their potential. As one of the biggest employers in the town, the Farm has built its life skills program on several non-profit business ventures, from herb garden products to custom packaging and wood-working.

Now, the Bark Barn, one of the farm’s most successful businesses, is expanding from 135 sq. m to 450 sq. m, allowing the production line to run inside, rain or shine, all year long.

Of the 45 trainees involved in the program, more than half live at the farm. The others come in every day from their homes in surrounding communities.

In addition to helping them produce more garden products, a bigger barn brings the possibility of expanding the whole operation to include more potential clients on their waiting list.

David says the expansion has been possible thanks to generous private donations and a $143,000 investment from the government’s Innovative Communities Fund.

By integrating good business and good training, Bonny Lea Farm continues to grow opportunities to include everyone in local life and economy.

For more information on innovative funding for your farm or agri-business please contact the Canadian Grants Business Center at 1-888-231-0075

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