Farm School

foundationfarm.com

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2014 Farm School: apply now if your dream is to become a farmer. Click here or go to the Farm School page.

  

School Curriculum School Application

 

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Disclaimer: Foundation Farm's programs and activities are neither sponsored by, nor affiliated with the "Farm Foundation", NFP or its trademark Farm Foundation (r).

Our farm school was born of a need: not enough food is grown locally.  Farmers around us are getting older and are not being replaced. Over the last 50 years, there has been an increasing loss of interest in small-scale farming, especially in America.  This decay of family farming has many, well documented roots, one being the competition from "industrial agriculture" which pushes food prices (and quality standards) down and monopolizes retail channels.  The disappearance of family farming explains in part why food travels thousands of miles to reach us.

But we can fight back and turn the tide.  There are ways and reasons to return to small-scale farming and our farm school is as much a place to learn as it is a chance to rediscover the joys of farming.  Here are some, but not all, reasons to choose our way of farming for a living:

bulletIt is gentle and well integrated with nature and helps reduce soil erosion, water pollution, carbon dioxide emission, and ecological degradation. 
  
bulletIt allows a family or individual to maintain a good standard of living, and above-average health.
 
bulletIt allows for freedom of thought, human interactions, and great potential for self-realization.

We are convinced that once aware of its possibilities, some people will choose farming over other, more obvious, career choices. 

If you are contemplating applying to the school, we recommend that you take a look at the rest of the site, especially at the virtual tour and the farm philosophy pages. 

As our world needs to replenish its stock of new farmers, we are looking for people interested in establishing their own farm in the near future.  The program's emphasis is on hands-on field activities and participating to the real-life activities of the farm, including its farmers' market involvement.   The school curriculum will also reflect this objective by teaching the tools necessary to start a successful farm from ground zero.  Classes cover the cultivation, marketing and financial aspects of running a farm based of our accumulated experience with Foundation Farm and previous farms.  Ideally, we try to have a crew of 4 to 6, but that number will vary throughout the season.

If you are interested, please submit your application to us by March 1st.

School Term:

The 2014 school year starts in March and lasts most of the growing year till the end of October.  The really dedicated type will want to join for the full term in order to cover the curriculum and 3 growing seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall).  Others will join for shorter periods. 
 

School Format:

Classes take place at the farm shed.  Do not expect a formal classroom, but expect a formal lecture involving notes-taking.  Classes happen usually on Mondays, following lunch, and last about one hour.  In summer, when the field hours are hot and tough, we discontinue the classes until early fall.

Field instruction takes place at the farm in a very real-life, professional context.  Patrice Gros, owner/teacher, will be present throughout the seasons to direct fieldwork. 


Tuition:

The school does not charge a tuition.


Facilities:

The farm offers basic facilities including a shed with a kitchen, an outdoor toilet and shower, and a small summer cabin for 2.  Food is available from basic kitchen staples and fresh produce harvested from the field.  Camping on the farm is possible is many areas, but long term student either stay in the cabin or find a place in town (Eureka Springs, Holiday Island).  In the past, some students have chosen to be roommates.


School "Normal" Weekly Schedule:

Monday: In class instruction: 1 hour; following lunch.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday
: Supervised field work: 4 to 5 hours (variable start-times according to season). Field work is always monitored and the object of in-the-field discussions between teacher(s) and students.

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday:
4 hour optional participation to farmers' market activities.

This schedule is designed to be a part time activity allowing other life activities such work or other studies. The farm is only 15 minutes from Eureka Springs and 1 hour from the Bentonville/Rogers area. 


Lodging:

2 beds are available, free of charge, at the farm in a small and rustic summer-cabin with cold & warm potable water, toilet, and electricity.  Otherwise, camping is possible on the farm or affordable lodging can be found in nearby Holiday Island (4 miles) or Eureka Springs (10 miles).


Food:

On workdays (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), we have lunch at the farm. Students, crew members team up and rotate to prepare  our food.  As much as possible, we cook with the seasonal produce which comes out of the field. 


Outside Work:

Seasonal work is available in Eureka Springs (a busy tourist destination), if you wish or must earn an income during  the school term.  Check the website www.eurekasprings.org for a virtual tour of town.

Trainees' outside work hours cannot interfere however with the farming school schedule.

 

last modified on: Tuesday October 29, 2013 04:11 PM -0600