Veith House uses urban farm to give back to community and help newcomers find their place in the community

Veith House, located in the North end of Halifax, has served as a pillar of support for children and adults during the past 50 years. Our vision is a healthy, vibrant community that supports and empowers children and adults to achieve greater wellbeing and mental health.  

We work toward this goal by providing a welcoming neighbourhood hub. Our offering is broad: social work services, supervised access and exchange for the Department of Justice, children’s activities before and after school, and summer camps. We give out healthy snacks to kids going to and from school, host community meals for folks in the neighbourhood, and run a busy newcomers program for young and old.  

But what I’d really like to tell you about is our expanding Urban Farm. For the past few years, Veith House has been growing food and offering folks the opportunity to volunteer along side our urban farmer, learning about preparing the ground, sowing seeds, tending the plants, and harvesting. Our children’s and newcomers’ programming is often focused around this space.  

But it’s more than that; our gardens are a place to find quiet, to reconnect with the soil, to return to practices you may have left in your old country, or to find ingredients for a delicious meal. Our gardens share their bounty as we give out produce to those in need. 

And we have exciting news! Our urban farm is expanding this year. We’re building a larger, heated greenhouse and will expand our food growing and nutrition-focused programming, and addressing food insecurity. We’re also getting seeds and supplies out to people in the community so they can grow food at home.  

There are lots of ways to get involved. Follow us on social media. We’re looking for donations, supplies and volunteers. Follow us on Instagram @veithhouse, Twitter @VeithHouse, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VeithHouse. Our main number is: 902-453-4320. 

Lisa Harrison

Lisa Harrison

Lisa Harrison joined Veith House in 2020, returning to community work, which she had missed since leaving her charity career in the UK in 2017. Although originally trained as a graphic designer - and a graduate of NSCAD - when she moved to London in 2001 she found herself drawn to the not-for-profit world. She served in a variety of roles, starting out as a communications officer at a copyright charity and then worked her way up to leadership roles, finally serving as the CEO of Mind Yourself, a community centre serving the health and wellbeing of the Irish in London. In 2017 she returned to Nova Scotia with her husband to be closer to the ocean and her family. She is very happy to be back working in Halifax again, and enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with the staff at Veith House and the diverse community found in Halifax's North End.

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