Jessica Miller, pictured, and her husband Steve Murgatroyd work the Veteran Farm Task in Hants County, Nova Scotia.

Joanie Veitch
Trident Newspaper

T he residence Jessica Miller and her partner Steve Murgatroyd acquired in 2018 and now work as the Veteran Farm Undertaking in Hants County, Nova Scotia, experienced been abandoned for various yrs. The farmhouse was dilapidated and the 7 acres it resided on was overgrown. 

They cleared the particles to make space for vegetable packing containers and back garden beds, and Murgatroyd developed a smaller potting lose for Miller to plant seeds. 

She laughs now at the memory of the ramshackle assets they saw that spring working day at Sweet’s Corner, not recognizing at the time what it would turn out to be.

“I understood it would be a large amount of do the job, but I fell in appreciate with it rather much at initial sight.”

Released from a 21-calendar year profession in the armed service, Miller was struggling with accidents, equally actual physical and psychological, and was hoping to obtain a place to heal and get well.

She experienced labored as a medic with Canadian Forces Health and fitness Expert services Centre (Atlantic), served on Royal Canadian Navy ships, and accomplished a tour in Afghanistan.

Murgatroyd had also served in Afghanistan, and Bosnia before that, but it was in 2015 at residence in Nova Scotia, on a highway in close proximity to Truro, in which he dropped the decreased half of his still left leg immediately after a car or truck sideswiped him on his motorbike.

They began to expertise the therapeutic and restoration that comes from becoming outdoors functioning on their farm. It was the early seeds of the Veteran Farm Challenge.

The thought took root just after hearing about veterans and their families having difficulties monetarily and not getting capable to get wholesome foods. So, they harvested from her backyard garden and created food stuff deals of veggies for delivery to veterans.

She attained out to Valerie Mitchell-Veinotte, executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command, for additional assistance. Now, 4 several years later, the Veteran Farm Challenge functions with the Legion to identify veteran family members and men and women in will need, and then, with assistance from a dozen feminine volunteers, harvests, offers, and provides contemporary farm develop to 40 households and 150 men and women in mainland Nova Scotia, and another 30 households in Cape Breton.

Miller has made a therapeutic farm and garden as perfectly. She investigated horticulture treatment courses and study guides on conscious yard layout and purposeful planting. She considered thoroughly about how to build the construction of the farm when preserving the desires of the women volunteers in intellect, several of whom are retired navy working with trauma related to PTSD and other daily life gatherings.

“In a normal farm you test to get as much out of the land as probable and use all the place, but we’re not about that. We’re about therapeutic and coming together as a tribe of gals. We aid every other, which is our purpose. The food we expand is the by-product of that.”

For more data about the Veteran Farm Challenge, pay a visit to

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