Providing agriculturally based training and employment for people with disabilities in an integrated supportive setting.
Walnut Grove Farm provides innovative work opportunities and career options for adults with special needs by providing agricultural training and employment in integrated settings.
The fastest growing employment opportunities for individuals with special needs are with farms and ranches. Agriculture related opportunities allow those with disabilities a healthy, fun, integrated, and meaningful way for them to participate and contribute to the wider community.
The Walnut Grove Farm provides an exciting and innovative program. The project will expand and enhance options for residents with developmental disabilities of DeKalb County and northern Illinois region.
The goal is to create an active working farm where individuals with special needs and others can come together to work, learn, and have fun on the farm.
The Walnut Grove Vocational Farm employs individuals with and without special needs living in DeKalb County, and the Northern Illinois region. The farm provides these individuals with the opportunity to work, learn, and have fun on the farm while earning a living wage. Walnut Grove is located at 33600 Pearl Street in Kirkland, IL 60146.
The Walnut Grove Vocational Farm offers a number of activities and skills at a slower pace making it easier for employees to adapt to their surroundings. Moving forward, the farm will eventually offer an opportunity for the individuals to create a sustainable business by selling their produce, plants, trees and shrubs, livestock, eggs, and other products to the local market.
Employees of Walnut Grove will learn valuable life skills including:
- Greenhouse and tree nursery management and production
- Vegetable gardening management and production
- Orchard management and production
- Livestock care and production (calves, sheep, chickens, etc.)
- Skill development in produce processing and sale
- Marketing skills with vegetable and landscaping needs and sale
- Prairie restoration
There will be additional opportunities in the future including the following: companion animal care, landscaping and building maintenance, flower production, commercial kitchen for food processing and preserving, metal and wood working skills workshops, etc.