Nfld. & Labrador

O'Brien Farm receives over $850K to create agricultural incubator

The O'Brien Farm Foundation is hoping to grow the future of agriculture in the province, while preserving the history of the 200-year-old St. John's farm

Initiative also aims to preserve history of 200-year-old farm

New money from the provincial and federal governments will help to make the O'Brien Farm a tourist attraction and agricultural incubator. (CBC)

The O'Brien Farm Foundation is receiving funding from the provincial and federal governments to grow the agricultural industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and preserve the history of the St. John's farm.

The province said Friday the project will include constructing a learning centre, creating a community garden and developing farm incubator infrastructure, including a barn, fencing and equipment.

Interior and exterior renovations to Thimble Cottage will also be undertaken, as well as improvements to the grounds and parking area as part of the three-year project.

Renovations to Thimble Cottage will be undertaken as part of the project. (CBC)

Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources Gerry Byrne said the farm is a valuable part of the province's past and future.

"Developing the legendary O'Brien Farm brings Newfoundland and Labrador's agriculture history to life, especially for a generation of people who may not have grown up with a direct family connection to farming," Byrne said in a statement.

"The introduction of a community garden and development of a farm incubator marry sustainable agricultural practices with innovation, which are the cornerstones to future growth."

Vision of preserving history

The O'Brien Farm Foundation's acting chair, Shannie Duff, said the project furthers the vision of sharing the farm's history with a new generation.

"This vision includes sharing the story of the history of the Irish farming community in St. John's and supporting agriculture going into the future through educational programs for backyard gardeners and new farmers," she said.

The project will be supported with a $863,750 investment from ACOA's Business Development Program and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation's Regional Development Program.

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