We are serious about our mission and want to help as many people in this Valley as possible. But of course this is a community enterprise, we need your support and your help, your thoughts, your social media, your purchasing power, your desire to make the Valley even better, more loving, more creative and even more a paradise.
Greenways is the largest of our three umbrella programs, having just under one hundred spaces per week (one space equals one participant for a six hour day). This program has been operating for 42 years.
At Providence Farm we serve a diverse group of people who come to us from varied backgrounds and have diverse life experiences. All our participants have encountered barriers to employment or may not be easily accepted within the greater community. We offer programming designed for a wide variety of adults including: individuals with mental health and substance use issues, folks who have sustained brain injuries, those who have developmental challenges, individuals with Autism, and seniors diagnosed with dementia and/or other age-related cognitive illness. The Farm celebrates the uniqueness of every person, and respectfully recognizes the significance of appreciating trauma and diagnosis. Providing the highest level of specialized quality care that supports each individual's experience, and ability is imperative. Equally valued is the opportunity for full immersion and acceptance irrespective of our diagnosis.
Staff, volunteers, and participants alike support the community behavioral expectations of FARMILY – Friendly, Accepting, Respectful, Mindful, Inclusive, and Loving, Y because Providence Farm is a safe place for you, and for me. FARMILY is the cornerstone of Providence Farm’s supportive community.
Programing is now centralized around a continuum that promotes the interconnectivity of our core curriculums (Farm Stand / Animal Care, Greenhouse / Nature Based Activity, and Expressive Eco Arts), participants contribute meaningfully to a larger purpose, as is evidenced in our newly conceived “Farmily to Table” Kitchen Program. From the seeds participants thoughtfully nurtured to harvest, to the culinary experience of creating a
nutritious meal, to the Farmily community that gathers at lunch to enjoy the fruits of our collective “labor” - we know “full hearts and bellies”.
All participants initially enter into our assessment stream allowing opportunity for us to get to know them and decipher how we can effectively meet their needs. In turn, the participant gets a feel for the farm and its possibilities. Our participants are here for therapy. Depending on the reasoning for the participants engagement in programming deciphers the amount of time they would remain in program. This can range from months to years. When visiting the farm please remember that this is a sanctuary for vulnerable people.
SAGC was founded on the basis of horticultural therapy. The program is dedicated to older adults and seniors with age related dementia or serious mental illness and/or substance use issues. The program provides opportunities for participants to reduce social isolation, improve physical strength and develop relationships among the group, ultimately assisting the participants to continue living independently in their communities.
Along with Horticultural Therapy, the program offers arts and crafts, woodworking, board and card games, music and singalongs. As well, the woodworking shop and arts program produce garden paraphernalia such as bean trestles and mason bee houses.
Referrals are made through Duncan's Senior Outreach Team (SORT), Home Community Care or by a primary physician.
SAGC is partially funded through the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Other funding is found through fundraising efforts and events of Providence Farm, generous donations from the local community, grants from foundations and user fees.
User fees are $10 per day.
Program hours: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Tuesday through Friday
Click the link for a printable brochure of the St. Ann’s Garden Club program - SAGC-Brochure.pdf
How to Access Programs
Most often our participants come to us via referral from one of our various contract funders in the Cowichan Valley. The contracts for our programs are made through various connections. Engagement with Island Health’s (VIHA) assorted services including: Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU), Brain Injuries Program (BIP) and Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI), provide us with referrals for participants. Partnering with Community Living BC (CLBC), individuals with developmental challenges and those on the Autism spectrum (PSI) are also recommended to
The individuals we serve are required to demonstrate a willingness to partake in a myriad of outdoor experiences (including tolerating inclement weather), practice safe behaviors, and express desire / aptitude to engage in structured programming. The Farm then, becomes one component of their
rehabilitative process. We offer a safe community where all persons are included and invited to shine. Providence programing supports personal recovery, self-discovery, and healing through Nature Based Activities grounded in Person Centered Care and
Trauma Informed theory.