The Learn to Farm Program

The Learn to Farm Program educates, and trains thoughtful, engaged and responsive farmer-leaders committed to practices of production that sustain and regenerate land and community.

St. David Springs provides summer program scholarships to selected students of the St. David Lifestyle Farm community. Updated by St David Springs Lifestyle Farms August 20, 2019

Each summer, The Farm School provides children with an opportunity to be at the farm outside of a school visit. During the extended summer sessions, children have the time to get to experience the Farm School on a more personal level. The programs are shepherded by our experienced staff of farmers and teachers. For children who have attended during the school year, we will be doing much the same as you remember – chores, work projects, crafts, tracking. For all of you, new and returning, here are some of the things you can look forward to: milking cows, gardening, building, hiking, cooking, caring for animals, working in the woods, singing, haying, star gazing, shooting hoops, sawing timber, throwing frisbees and enjoying the summer breezes with new and old friends. And………………….

Since 2002 The Farm School has offered a practical, real-world agricultural education for aspiring farmers, educators and community leaders. The Learn to Farm program is a full-time, residential immersion in the work and rhythms of sustainable farm life. Each year we accept 12-16 applicants into the program, which runs October – September. Most students live together in our farmhouse and help our instructors manage 12 acres of Mixed Organic Vegetables, 60 Acres of pasture for raising pigs, sheep, beef herd, dairy cows and laying hens, 200 Acres of woodlot, and 2 Acres of gardens and orchards.

What We Teach:

We help our students establish conceptual understanding and physical competency in a wide range of skills and areas of farm production: forestry, animal husbandry, carpentry, mechanics, business planning, homesteading, marketing, cooking, organic vegetable production and beyond. The program curriculum reaches one hand back into history to pull forward the best of what traditional agriculture has to offer and with the other pushes forward into cutting edge creative and dynamic ways of enriching our stewardship of land.

How we Teach:

Every day and in every way our student farmers learn to farm by farming, supported by formal coursework, in-field mentoring from our staff and instruction by regional experts. We value field work as our primary mode of instruction. Our small discussion-based classes are balanced with long hours in the greenhouses, fields, forests and barns. The training is rounded out with field trips, conferences, reading and assignments, and an independent project.

Why we believe this training is important:

The Learn to Farm program is an experiment in living into a relationship to place, work and community that is timeless and authentic. Beyond the mechanics, actions and practices of farming, we also hope to instill in our student-farmers an attitude of kindness, respect for simple work and a lifelong ability to innovate, analyze and problem solve. The Learn to Farm Program supports students to develop the perspective, affection, confidence and skills that can shape their future life and enrich the communities and lands they touch, assignments, and an independent project.

Scholarships provided

With your family lifestyle farm at St David Springs Farm School scholarships are provided.