Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Boni-Bel Country Store Trains Special Ed Students: Helps young people maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services in a safe and supportive environment.

Jun 29, 2017 01:04PM

Farm stores are popular summer destinations for people who love good food. But Boni-Bel Farm & Country Store in Brewster offers that and good vibes too. Located by Green Chimneys farm and school, the Country Store is a vocational training site, giving special education students the chance to operate and serve in a retail setting.

Green Chimneys, a nonprofit, helps young people maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services in a safe and supportive environment that nurtures connections with their families, the community, animals and nature. It operates an accredited special education school on two campuses, a residential treatment center, animal-assisted and nature-based therapeutic programs, public education and recreation programs and community-based support for youth and families.

Vegetable gardens, orchards, flower beds and a greenhouse surrounded by forests and meadows are part of Green Chimneys’ nature-based curriculum. That’s where students learn about and become responsible for many plants while developing new skills.

Located at 301 Doansburg Road, the Country Store offers organic foods, homegrown fruits and vegetables, hand-crafted gift items and products from local farms and vendors, as well as Green Chimneys students.

Students are in volved in all aspects of store operations, including customer assistance, product labeling and display, inventory and sales. They also learn how to make products such as maple syrup, cream and holiday wreaths.

The Country Store’s summer hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3:15 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit GreenChimneys.org.