The Ita Wegman Association of BC for Curative Education and Social Therapy (Glenora Farm) is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of adults with complex developmental disabilities (Companions). Glenora Farm is an intentional community based on an organic-transitioning farm located in the rural community of Glenora in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Through the therapeutic modalities of cooperative agriculture, inclusive arts and culture, and integrated home supports, Glenora Farm provides life-enriching day programs and empowering residential care. Currently we support 18-21 individuals within our residential community and day programs.

Two people harvesting at Glenora Farm
Harvest day at Glenora Farm.

On Glenora Farm, diverse abilities are appreciated as an important part of the fabric of human experiences. Since 1995, Companions have lived, learned, and worked on Glenora Farm alongside “Coworkers” (staff and volunteer personnel) and community members in a horizontal model that promotes self-efficacy, supportive social connections, and personal fulfilment through meaningful work, rewarding participation, and responsibility to the earth.

Pruning plant at Glenora Farm.

Day program “workshops” are a core aspect of life on Glenora Farm. Workshops are handson educational classes focusing on activities like farming/gardening, cooking, visual and performing arts, landscaping, and artisanal crafts. Workshops help our Companions to discover talents, contribute to the farm/community, and develop applied life/vocational skills. Examples of workshops include planting, harvesting, and processing garden vegetables; preparing artisanal goods such as teas, salves, candles, and weavings; and practicing for upcoming drama and musical performances. Through these experiences, Companions develop specialized skills and try new things – catalyzing personal growth and increasing their sense of self-worth, autonomy, and empowerment.

People in greenhouse at Glenora Farm
Seedlings growing in the greenhouse.

As a working organic-transitioning farm, a fortunate “by-product” of our garden workshop activities is an abundance of farm-grown produce. While a lot of these vegetables are used for meals in the Farm’s residential care homes or for snacks during day programming, the Farm always generates a surplus. Each year, Glenora Farm redistributes about 2000 lbs of surplus produce to the local community via partnerships with Cowichan Valley Basket Society (our local “food bank”), Nourish Cowichan (an organization bringing meals to schools/daycares), and reFRESH (a regional food recovery and distribution network). Through these contributions, Glenora Farm gives back to the community by supporting local food security.

Person standing in garden wearing a tie die shirt at Glenora Farm
Enjoying the lush garden scenery at Glenora Farm.

Stay up to date with Glenora Farm by visiting their website or following them on Facebook.