Local Schools Partnering on In-Depth On-Farm Learning Programs

We host dozens of school field trips each year. Students get to taste the fields and forage; they learn about rarebreed livestock; they may even help with a few farm chores. Most importantly, we motivate them to get more involved with the local food community. Our goal is that schools will partner with our farm for long-term, ongoing projects.

We are delighted that several schools are taking an active role in using our farm as a living classroom.  Teachers and Green Educators from the following schools are developing on-farm curriculum and activities for 2014, including:

Please support their efforts. Funds are needed for transportation and materials (we’d love to get some microscopes).

More School Field Trips and Service Learning Projects
Every large group we host moves our farm forward. Whether it’s 140 freshman from Austin High School or a marketing department from Dell Computers, each team has left a mark. We’re looking forward to creating even more new learning areas on the farm in 2014, so make a date for your favorite group. There’s so much to do, you’ll never be bored.

A heartfelt thanks to the participants of the following groups:

  • Austin High School
  • Girl Scouts
  • Escoffier Culinary School
  • Dell Computers
  • Whole Foods

Dates fill up quickly in the spring, so reserve your time today. You are guaranteed a meaningful experience tailored to the interests of your group.

New Pavilion and Education Center Underway

This is an exciting time on our community-based farm. New plans are underway to increase the areas where visitors and campers can learn about sustainable, organic farming. In addition to a new outdoor pavilion (designed by Patrice Mallard Designs) beside the Big Red Barn, we’re inviting all visitors to envision our new Education Center.

Our goal is to transform the north side of our farm into an interactive, independent learning center. Where children can explore and play and school visitors can garden and experience the farm.

You can help redesign our farm so we can provide more independent learning areas. Students from Khabele School have offered the following suggestions, including:

  • Treehouse
  • Aquaponics
  • Areas to pet livestock
  • Rabbitry
  • Food Forest
  • Vermaculture
  • Raised garden beds

What farm-based topic would you like to learn more about? Let us know.

Joined Alternative School Initiative

The Alternative School Movement is really taking hold in Austin thanks to Teri Sperry and the Alt Ed Austin group she founded. Now,  new, innovative schools are collaborating and developing non-traditional resources (like our farm-based education) for students and families that want more educational options. We’re looking forward to growing our programs together. Stay tuned!

Expanded Partnership with Sustainable Food Center, “Meet A Farmer” Program
More of our farmers are now participating in Sustainable Food Center‘s “Meet a Farmer” program, where we get to meet children at nearby underserved elementary and middle schools. Seeing children light up when we bring fresh vegetables for tasting or one of our baby goats for petting, makes our long, cold days in the fields worthwhile. We are looking forward to more school visits with SFC and spreading the word about the importance of local organic food.

A special thanks to all our donors this year. Your encouragement and support is our fuel.