Often cited as a highlight of the NCS experience, our farm program provides opportunities for joyful and meaningful work that teach children valuable life lessons. These include:
- Caring for animals, individually and as a group, teaches children how to nurture other beings.
- Doing actual farm work shows children the importance of their individual contributions to a larger community.
- Understanding where our food comes from is best learned by being part of a physical process of growing and harvesting food.
- Spending time on the farm allows children to develop a strong connection to the environment and a future interest in protecting it.
- Gaining an understanding of the life cycle of plants and animals, and the interconnectedness of all organisms, enhances learning across all academic disciplines.
Barn and Garden Chores
With the guidance of experienced farm educators, students care for and ride our horses, as well as raise and tend to our sheep, turkeys, goats, pigs, and several varieties of chickens. Our farm and garden work-jobs include these important responsibilities:
- Collecting eggs and caring for chickens
- Delivering and turning compost
- Grooming, feeding, and watering horses
- Feeding pigs and sheep
- Milking goats
- Mucking stalls
Garden and Greenhouse Chores
- Composting table scraps
- Harvesting herbs and vegetables
- Hauling the harvest
- Planting and transplanting seeds
- Preparing soil
Farm and garden traditions, like all-school potato and chicken harvests in the fall and sap collection for maple syrup production in spring, not only teach, but also demonstrate that many hands make light work. Farm and garden chore rotations and community projects give students a sense of accomplishment and a first-hand understanding of fresh food production.