Learning life skills: State’s largest Farm in the Dell group home to open near Butte

2013-10-09T00:00:00Z Learning life skills: State’s largest Farm in the Dell group home to open near ButteBy Renata Birkenbuel of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

An 8,860-square-foot Farm in the Dell nonprofit group home has gone up at Buxton, southwest of Butte.

A lone salmon-colored house, roaming antelope and a sweeping landscape with killer views make for an isolated but

welcoming farm set up exclusively for developmentally disabled adults.

Program manager John Castle II and resource developer Mark Bartels fought the chilly fall winds Tuesday to build a metal tool shed on the east side of the home.

“We have to get this done before the weather turns,” said Castle, a Butte native who previously worked with at-risk youth in a day treatment program in Vancouver, Wash. “That’s why we started at oh dark thirty this morning.”

Way out on Pronghorn Trail off Buxton Road South lies the eye-catching home, which will house six residents at full capacity. It has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, an expansive kitchen, a rec room and a sun-drenched living room that faces south.

The first Farm in the Dell to go up in southwest Montana, the farm is one of several nonprofit 5013c homes scattered throughout the state, including Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Broadus.

“We planned the property for another home, if there’s a need,” said Bartels, who lives in Helena. The home sits on a sprawling 91 acres, the largest one in the state.

Castle and an eventual staff of six will provide around-the-clock care for residents, who learn basic life skills that he says most folks take for granted.

Raising cattle, chickens and produce in a greenhouse are among the life skills. Castle hopes residents can sell eggs and produce at farmers’ markets. Eventually, the goal is for the farm to be self-sustainable.

Inside, residents learn cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene, among other independent skills.

“We’re trying to be a different take on a group home,” said Bartels, who writes grants, trains staff and fundraises. “It’s not a group home where they sit and watch TV. Residents can become contributing members of the community.”

— Reach reporter Renata Birkenbuel at Renata.birkenbuel@lee.net and (406) 496-5512.

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. Big Ralph
    Report Abuse
    Big Ralph - October 09, 2013 9:40 am
    I want to applaud this different approach to a group home for developmentally disabled.I wish you the best success.

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us at editor@mtstandard.com.

If your comment was removed or isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).
  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.
  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.
  5. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
  6. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
  7. Your comment is in really poor taste.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

mothersdaypromo-tile

Follow the Montana Standard

Montana Videos

Footage from 1930: Anaconda Historical Hatchery

Footage from 1930: Anaconda Historical Hatchery

Fish Wildlife and Parks supplied this short video that features footage from 1930 of the Ana…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

Featured Offers & Deals

Great Butte Businesses

Vote now! Question of the Week

Loading…

A Senate committee on Friday amended the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ licensing bill to include a piece of legislation that would allow mentored hunting for 10- to 17-year-olds who have not completed a hunter safety course. Do you agree with this amendment?

View Results