The Home Depot Raised Garden Bed Project at Special Dreams Farm

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On Thursday, July 26th, a crew of volunteers from The Home Depot of Chesterfield, Michigan came out to Special Dreams Farm to help us rebuild our raised garden beds, as well as, put in a flower garden around our sign out front. The Home Depot of Chesterfield has helped Special Dreams Farm with projects in the past such as building the raised garden beds in the high tunnel greenhouse, planting fruit trees, building the original garden beds, and more. A few months ago, we received a call from Gina Willis, who organizes the Home Depot volunteer days; she was eager to get a crew out to help with anything that we needed. We chose the raised garden bed project to allow for easier gardening for our farmers. The Home Depot group was truly a joy to work with. Our farmers got the chance to help them as well, which was very cool! We are very appreciative of their work and we look forward to utilizing our new garden beds next planting season! Thank you, again, Home Depot of Chesterfield!

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Outing to Indigo Lavender Farm

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On Friday, July 6th, some of the Special Dreams Farm crew took a trip to Indigo Lavender Farms in Imlay City. Farmers grow some lavender of their own at Special Dreams Farm, so we wanted to learn more about the process and the different things that you can do with lavender. While we were there, we also picked some different varieties of lavender to bring back to the farm to dry for various crafts. We learned that there are many different varieties of lavender and that different varieties are used for different purposes. This week, we were able to harvest some lavender of our own. We are currently drying the lavender in hopes of using it for crafts and some new recipes. We look forward to expanding our lavender project at the farm!

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Part-Time Work Opportunity: Job Coach Needed

If you are looking for a rewarding job that allows you to help others grow, learn, build confidence, and develop new skills, then job coaching may be a great fit for you.

***Currently seeking a job coach for an individual who will need availability on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. All interested candidates, please contact Michele at 586-612-9042.***

 

Job Description: 

Farmers attend the program at Special Dreams Farm from 9:30 AM-1:30 PM. While working at Special Dreams Farm, farmers must be accompanied by a job coach. While the program is held Monday-Friday, your assigned farmer may only attend a few of those days during the week. This is dependent on their schedule. Often times, transportation to and from Special Dreams Farm is needed for the farmer. So, a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation are needed.

Job Duties:

  • Supervise and assist farmers in performing tasks at Special Dreams Farm
  • Ensure farmer safety and well-being while performing tasks
  • Accompany farmers at all times
  • Encourage farmers to complete assigned tasks, assisting as needed, but not completing work for the farmer
  • Be patient, kind, encouraging, and respectful to your assigned farmer
  • Assist with physical tasks such as animal chores, loading/unloading firewood, splitting firewood, gardening, raking, and general farm work
  • Assist with life skills tasks such as cooking, sewing, doing laundry, crafting, and cleaning

Special Dreams Farm strives to provide meaningful work for adults with special needs. Our goal is to help build confidence and life skills in a fun and supportive environment. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about helping others. Kindness and compassion are of highest priority. Experience with special needs individuals, gardening, farm work, and animal care experience are a plus.

 

 

Come Support Special Dreams Farm at Junk ‘N The Trunk Vintage Market!

Hello everyone!

Farmers and volunteers at Special Dreams Farm have been working hard through the winter on handmade craft projects that will be available at the “Junk ‘N The Trunk Vintage Market” in Richmond next weekend. (See below for details)

Stop by the Special Dreams Farm booth to shop for items such as:

  • Birdhouses
  • Windchimes
  • Fairy Gardens
  • Succulent Crafts
  • Bracelets 
  • Wreaths
  • Sewing Projects
  • And more!

Saturday, April 28th 

9 AM – 4 PM

Main Street (MI Junktiques)

Richmond, MI

Over 40 trunks for the flea market and 50 vintage, antique and handcrafted vendors in an open-air market. Visit shops along Main Street and lots of deals along the sidewalks!

 

Greenhouse Season 2018 is Underway at Special Dreams Farm

Just like that, the greenhouse goes from being another outbuilding sealed up tight from the winter air, with snow drifted around its edges to a warm place, full of life and color.

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Little by little, the greenhouse gains more occupants in the form of seedlings greeting the air above the soil where they were once nestled in and a large assortment of flower plugs that arrived recently. Seed planting will continue through March and April. Farmers have started a variety of herbs, flowers, and a few vegetables. By May, the greenhouse will be full of plants awaiting new homes in the vegetable gardens and lovely flowers awaiting new homes where they will brighten front porch views and become a source of beauty in flowerbeds in many yards. A great deal of hard work goes into the early stages of growing high-quality flowers and produce. Here is a behind the scenes look at life in the greenhouse:

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Stay tuned to see more greenhouse work and pretty flowers!

We are thinking spring at Special Dreams Farm!

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

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This week has been a cold one at the farm, accompanied by treacherous amounts of snow that will proceed to fall for the next few days. Snowflakes have ganged up on us this week to make for some questionable road conditions which amounted to a couple of snow days and Peanut holding down the fort without her farmer friends.

Don’t worry, Peanut and I took care of the chickens and the rabbit.

However, the chill of February was no match for our warm-hearted friends at Cargill Salt in St. Clair, Michigan. Last year, Cargill Salt made a donation to Special Dreams Farm for the nature trail improvement project. This made it possible for Special Dreams Farm to line and gravel a trail from the farmyard to the woods. What this has allowed for is the use of the trail and the woods year-round. This has made it feasible for year-round wood cutting for the sale of our firewood, access to our maple trees for tapping, and unlimited possibilities to come with a safe, functional trail. Today, representatives from Cargill visited the farm to present to us a donation of $7,500! We are very thankful to have continued support from a company within our community. This kind of support helps us grow. This kind of support helps our farmers grow, learn, and thrive. This kind of support makes challenges possible to overcome, not only for Special Dreams Farm as a whole but for the individuals that we serve.

On behalf of Special Dreams Farm, the board of directors, and our farmers, we thank you, Cargill, for your generosity and kindness!

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On a side note, we started taking cuttings off of our geranium plants. We managed to get 72 cuttings started! Soon, the greenhouse will be a very busy place. Within the next couple of months, we have many of seeds to get started for the summer garden…peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, marigolds, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, strawflowers…oh my! Stay tuned!

Port Huron Northern High School Students Participate in a Transitional Learning Experience at Special Dreams Farm

Special Dreams Farm was pleased to host students from Port Huron Northern High School in a week of transitional learning, skill-building, and job-readiness training! 

The week of January 22nd-January 26th was an exciting one at the farm. Port Huron Northern High School partnered with Michigan Rehabilitation Services to provide a week at Special Dreams Farm for a group of students. The week’s itinerary consisted of planting herbs for the greenhouse, leatherwork, sewing-where Miss Mary gave an intro to sewing lesson and students made potholders, helping with animal chores, loading firewood, craft projects, skills of daily living such as cleaning, a baking class, tapping maple trees for sap, and learning the importance of punching in on a time clock.

Special Dreams Farm aims to provide meaningful work for special needs adults to build self-esteem, confidence, and give our farmers a sense of purpose. It was so wonderful to be able to share that with the students of Port Huron Northern High School and see the joy that the farm brought to them. Enjoy below, some photos from the week!

Pictured is a Special Dreams farmer, Jay, showing a couple of students the ropes on loading firewood for a customer. These boys demonstrated awesome teamwork skills and really enjoyed getting to do hard work!

 

Students planted herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, moss rose, dill, and many more! They took some back to school to continue to watch them grow.

Mr. Chris, a Special Dreams Farm volunteer, taught students how to make leather crafts such as wallets, bracelets, and decorative doorbells. The students also learned about the leather dying process. 

Special Dreams farmer, Abbey, led a baking class where students learned how to follow a recipe to make cookies (using farm fresh eggs)! Students also learned how to clean up after baking class-doing dishes and wiping down counters and the table. 

Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather that Friday brought, Special Dreams farmers and students tapped six of the maple trees that we marked in the fall. Volunteer and job coach, Miss Gail led the group in this activity. We actually had one tree start running with sap right away! Very cool! We look forward to checking these trees and starting the boiling process to make maple syrup. We are already making plans for pancakes.

We want to thank our visitors for joining us. We had a wonderful time and hope that they did, too! It was a wonderful chance for Special Dreams farmers to act as mentors to teach the skills they have learned and for the students to experience and learn skills related to the workforce. 

Job Coaches Needed

If you are looking for a rewarding job that allows you to help others grow, learn, build confidence, and develop new skills, then job coaching may be a great fit for you.

Who We Are:

Special Dreams Farm is a non-profit organization that serves special needs adults. We are a 31-acre working farm that provides meaningful work for those with special needs. For more information, please visit the “About Us” tab above.

Job Description: 

Farmers attend the program at Special Dreams Farm from 9:30 AM-1:30 PM. While working at Special Dreams Farm, farmers must be accompanied by a job coach. While the program is held Monday-Friday, your assigned farmer may only attend a few of those days during the week. This is dependent on their schedule. Often times, transportation to and from Special Dreams Farm is needed for the farmer. So, a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation are needed.

Job Duties:

  • Supervise and assist farmers in performing tasks at Special Dreams Farm
  • Ensure farmer safety and well-being while performing tasks
  • Accompany farmers at all times
  • Encourage farmers to complete assigned tasks, assisting as needed, but not completing work for the farmer
  • Be patient, kind, encouraging, and respectful to your assigned farmer
  • Assist with physical tasks such as animal chores, loading/unloading firewood, splitting firewood, gardening, raking, and general farm work
  • Assist with life skills tasks such as cooking, sewing, doing laundry, crafting, and cleaning

Special Dreams Farm strives to provide meaningful work for adults with special needs. Our goal is to help build confidence and life skills in a fun and supportive environment. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about helping others. Kindness and compassion are of highest priority. Experience with special needs individuals, gardening, farm work, and animal care experience are a plus.

All interested candidates may contact our Program Director, Nancy Ulrich.

Email: director@specialdreamsfarm.org

Phone: 810-326-0127

 

Thank You, Riverview Community Federal Credit Union!

A month ago, Special Dreams Farm received a call from Riverview Community Federal Credit Union. They said that they were doing an Angel Tree this holiday season and that they selected us to be their cause. They asked for a wish list of things the farm needed and these items were listed separately on paper ornaments upon a tree at the credit union. Employees of Riverview Community Federal Credit Union and customers of theirs were able to select wish list items and donate. Today, they stopped by during lunch to drop off the donated items. It was an amazing act of kindness, love, and support. Special Dreams Farm is so appreciative of the support we receive from the community. What a blessing this was to Special Dreams Farm!

Thank you, to our friends and neighbors at Riverview Community Federal Credit Union! ♥♥♥

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Festive on the Farm

On Friday, December 15th, Special Dreams Farm hosted their annual Christmas party at the farm. Farmers, family, job coaches, volunteers, board members, and staff joined together for a special day full of fun, laughter, gift exchanges, celebration, and food…lots of food! The Christmas party offers a great chance to thank our volunteers, who are such a blessing to Special Dreams Farm. It’s also a great chance for farmers to invite their family to see where they work.

Some of the delicious desserts that were served at the party were made during cooking class by farmers. They tasted as wonderful as they looked! 

It’s always nice to have everyone who is involved in the farm to have the chance to get together for a day of fun. Special Dreams Farm promotes a family atmosphere, so the Christmas party felt much like a family gathering!

Below are a few photos of the festivities. ♥♥♥

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