purpose & philosophy of our working farm
The farm provides an opportunity for students to obtain hands-on experience working on a functioning small-scale, sustainable farm; it is a resource that supplements and enhances curriculum and meals (by providing the school kitchen with the highest quality meats, eggs, and produce). It offers quality farm products to the wider local community, and it preserves and/or improves the historic HCS farm property.
The experiences students gain through working on a farm focused on sustainable agriculture are numerous and rich.
The farm is managed in a manner that allows students and staff to experience agriculture first-hand. They develop a deeper understanding of and connection to the food on their plates, and the impact of its production on individuals and the environment. The farm program also allows students to experience basic business planning and management, environmental and veterinary science, mathematics, biology, anatomy, and chemistry.
Students learn the values of responsibility, patience, fortitude, working with others, and the joys (and pains) of physical labor. The fruits of these learned skills are immediately and tangibly evident to students in the form of delicious meats, eggs, and produce on their plates; happy and healthy animals on the farm; and thriving gardens and pastures.
All livestock that lives on the Hampshire Country School farm serves multiple purposes. Meat and eggs are only the beginning of the benefits that our livestock offer. All livestock are managed so that they improve the overall ecosystem and so that they are available to enhance student education and daily life here at the school.