Hutto's Simple Sparrow Care Farm expanding to include neighboring property, on-site counseling

The Simple Sparrow Care Farm, a nonprofit founded by Jamie Tanner, is expanding to include The Bird House, which will be used to offer on-site counseling services. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)

">The Simple Sparrow Care Farm is expanding to include a neighboring two-acre property at 1615 CR 117, Hutto. On the property is a 4,000-square-foot house, which will be known as "The Bird House," where in-house therapy and counseling will be offered. A grand opening for The Bird House will be held Aug. 17 at 5:15 p.m., with an all-day open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Simple Sparrow was founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2017 by Jamie Tanner, who purchased the farm as a farming hobbyist in 2013.

"We're super, super excited to have this in-house credentialed therapy service now that we can offer," Tanner said.

Previously, counselors and therapists met clients on the farm in the outdoors, and meetings were subject to the weather. Now, the care farm can expand its offerings and provide a place for counselors to meet their clients regardless of weather.

Tanner said the Simple Sparrow Care Farm offers therapeutic farm education to individuals, schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations to provide an environment where people experiencing trauma or recovering from traumatic experiences, addiction, depression and anxiety can learn to care for animals and land, grow compassion, and heal.

In-house counseling and therapy services have been offered since June, Tanner said, through a partnership with Restorative Hope Counseling and Therapy Services. They make appointments with and meet clients at the farm and work indoors or outdoors, depending on weather conditions, to use farm work or animal interaction for therapeutic purposes.
Additionally, care farm residential internships will be available for students and those who want to learn more about the care farm therapeutic model, which Tanner said is more common in other countries.

"One of the other programs we launched is a residential internship program for people to actually live here, shadow us, learn how to care for animals and gardens and learn the trauma-informed care aspect of things, and then take it back to their practice," Tanner said.

The care farm also provides opportunities for those who are interested in learning how to care for animals before purchasing them to raise at home for food or adopt as pets as well as gardening and other aspects of farming and sustainability. Multiple volunteer opportunities are also available.


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