Our Program for Visiting Schools is the centerpiece of The Farm School. Each school year, over 2,000 children come to help us care for our farm during 3-day visits. The students come with their classes, in groups of up to 40 children at one time, many times splitting a week between two groups from the same school. Many schools bring students for multiple visits spread out over several years. While they are here, the students find value in real work, create community that persists when they return to their classrooms, and experience first hand what it means to be stewards of the earth. It’s simple and it’s magical.
Schools are charged tuition on a sliding scale based on their participation in the federally funded school lunch program. Half the students that come pay a reduced tuition, the balance of which is made up by donations to The Farm School. Every school that has come has returned. As a result, our calendar is usually quite full. However, we welcome inquires about possible visits and are always looking for ways to stretch to fit in more programs! If you are interested, fill out the form below to begin a conversation about your school coming to The Farm School.
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The work and care of the farm is the mainstay of the program. The farm itself is 130 acres, with about 40 acres of open land and 90 acres of woods. It is an incredibly productive place, with large vegetable gardens designed to help feed all that come, young orchards, a maple sugaring operation, a dairy with up to 6 cows milking, pigs, beef cows, goats, chickens, oxen, a woodlot that keeps us busy producing firewood and lumber and lovely pastures and fields for the kids and animals to roam. Students are fully integrated into the farm operations, rising early for milking, tending to the garden, fields and forests, and helping to cook meals with the food they have harvested. By the time they leave, the farm is theirs.
Day 1 Getting to Know the Farm
10:30 Welcome, settle into the bunk rooms, get cups and nametags
10:45 Opening Circle
11:15 Farm Explore Tour ; Visiting Staff Meeting
12:00 Lunch (students bring from home)
1:00 Farm Work: Barn, Garden, Forest
4:00 Snack / Free Time
6:15 Dinner and clean-up
7:15 Evening Activity
8:15 Quiet Evening Routine
Day 2 Working the Land
9:00 Community Meeting
9:15 Farm Work groups rotate
10:30 Back to same Farm Work
11:30 Options Intro
12:00 Lunch and clean up
3:45 Snack/Free Time
6:00 Dinner and clean-up
7:00 Evening Activity
8:00 Quiet Evening Routine Day
Day 3 Farmers Now!
7:30 Breakfast and clean-up
8:00 Pack and clean- bags out front
8:45 Farm Work Rotate
10:00 Closing Circle
10:30 Clamber on Bus – Goodbye!
Program for Visiting Schools Staff
Every staff member at the Program for Visiting Schools is both a Farmer and/or Chef AND a Teacher. As a result, every single person here is equally devoted to the farm and to the students who come to care for it with us.
Stephanie Cook, Farmer/Teacher – Forest Before coming to the Farm School Stephanie was working in wilderness therapy. She currently teaches in the forestry section of the PVS program. She loves walking down the shagbark hickory lane to work everyday and she loves that the Farm School encourages everyone to be their self.
Cristina Garcia, Chef/Teacher Cristina was dreaming of becoming a lunch lady when she found The Farm School. She loves the power of a shared meal and the connections made possible through humble ingredients. As a chef/teacher she can’t get enough of a kitchen with views of cows on pasture or the rotating cast of pint-sized sous chefs.
David Graham, Farmer/Teacher – Barn David grew up in Concord, MA. He farmed in Colorado and the Minuteman National Historical Park before coming to The Farm School. He works in the Program for Visiting Schools and loves the opportunity to share the farm with people from all walks of life.
Rafe Halsey, PVS Program/Camp Director and Farmer/Teacher – Forest The Farm School was Rafe’s first home out of college, then he took 7 years to travel west where he found a love of birds, ancient mentoring techniques and all things wild. He is happy to be back calling the Farm School home again and serving as director of the PVS program. He loves the eastern forests and pond hockey in the winters, and can’t think of a better place to start a family.
Charlie Hunter, Farmer/Teacher – Garden Before coming to the Farm School, Charlie grew fruits and vegetables at the Jones Valley Teaching Farm in downtown Birmingham, AL. He has been a utility player at the farm, working with the Maggie’s harvest crew, driving the delivery truck to Boston, and teaching at the Chicken Coop, now he works in the gardens with the kids of the Program for Visiting Schools. He loves Cristina and Eliza’s cooking, working in the wood shop, and skidding logs with the horses.
Rachel King, Farmer/Teacher – Barn Rachel started as a student in the adult Learn to Farm program at the Farm School and now works with the PVS program. She loves milking cows and teaching kids about the wonders of farming. Her favorite part about her day is working really hard cleaning the barn with the kids then having a dance party afterwards.
Josh Pincus, Farmer/Teacher – Barn Josh teaches animal husbandry and coordinates the management of all the livestock on the farm with the adult student farmers and visiting children at the Program for Visiting Schools.
Sophie Tilitz, Farmer/Teacher – Barn Sophie recently graduated from Cornell University and started working this fall in the barn. She loves how accepting The Farm School is of every child and adult that it comes in contact with.
Eliza Thomson, Chef/Teacher Eliza Thomson has spent much of her life pursuing her passions of cooking and traveling. At the Farm School, she loves working in a kitchen where active kindness is the norm, and enjoys listening to the the funny and inspiring things the students say each day.
Evie Toland, Farmer/Teacher – Garden Evie is a recent graduate of Vassar College and now works in garden at The Farm School. She came to The Farm School to work outside all day and show kids the joy of farming. She loves that The Farm School encourages you to follow your passions and that her days are full of plants, dirty hands, delicious food and fun people.
The tangible outcomes that are most important to us are a healthy farm and kids who love it. The success of our educational programs for children and their teachers has attracted national media attention, and placed The Farm School in the privileged position of being able to serve as a model for other programs. If you think our model could offer you some ideas, please check out a very thorough evaluation of the Program For Visiting Schools, The Lay Of The Land and please don’t hesitate getting in touch with Founder Ben Holmes, who would be happy to offer any help he can in the development of your idea or existing program.
at the Farm School
We farm with kids. School groups of up to 40 students each visit for 3-day programs throughout the school year.