The Highland Hall Biodynamic Farm
The campus of Highland Hall Waldorf School includes a thriving 3-acre biodynamic farm comprised of 24 raised vegetable beds, a greenhouse, outdoor classroom, medicinal and culinary herb gardens, medieval dye and fiber gardens, row crop fields, perennial berry beds, fruit tree orchard and permaculture food forest, monarch sanctuary, bee hives and chickens.
Through practical hands-on work, our school farm & garden program endeavors to help students understand that as human beings, we draw our daily nourishment from the Earth. As such, we are responsible for caring for the Earth along with the well being of others. In short, we grow gardens to grow caring people.
The garden is also a metaphor for building healthy communities. By working together to bring about positive changes from our efforts, we develop a deep sense of hope for the future. In the garden, children are given an opportunity to connect with nature and experience it through observation and wonder.
Blending the principles of biodynamics and permaculture, our farm manager, Bridget Kelley, tends to the farm and teaches all of our gardening classes. From math and science to art and history, there is almost no subject that cannot be related in some way to gardening. As such, she has developed a gardening curriculum that corresponds to the Waldorf lower school curriculum, with a focus on seasonal and biological cycles, planting, soil building, harvesting, preparing and (of course!) eating. In the high school, students can chose to take biodynamic farming as an elective, which further deepens their connection to Earth and Community.
What is Biodynamics?
Biodynamics is a modern, ecological approach to agriculture that strives to bring balance and healing to the Earth through a renewed awareness of all the forces at work in the farm - among and between the soil, plants, animals, and humans, as well as the cosmos itself. The farmer works to create a holistic and diversified farm eco-system that generates fertility and health from within the farm itself, as is practical for the locale.
Supporting our Farm
With the support of the Garden Gnome Society at Highland Hall, a group of parents and friends who are passionate about gardening and sustainability, the farm program has been able to grow and thrive. In the past year we've hired additional personnel and have further developed our farm curriculum. A generous grant from the Wellington Cabot Foundation has also enabled us to build a greenhouse and outdoor classroom.
We invite you to get involved with the Garden Gnome Society. Click here to learn more.
Every Wednesday throughout the year, our fresh-harvested biodynamic produce, honey and eggs are available for purchase at our community farm stand. Parents and faculty are given the opportunity to enjoy delicious produce and eggs, while gaining exposure to our farm, its practices, and the means by which it serves our children’s education and the school community at large. 100% of farm stand proceeds goes back to supporting our farm and garden program.
Community Work Parties
Many members of the Highland Hall community love to help on our farm. There is always much work to be done, and many hands make light work. Every Friday morning after drop-off, we host “Coffee in the Garden” where parents and friends come together on the farm to help in any way that is needed. Additional Saturday work parties are also scheduled throughout the year to help with larger farm projects. Children are welcome to attend (and help) during our Saturday work parties.
Similar to our community work parties, we enjoy hosting workdays on the farm for corporations who encourage their employees to serve their community. Many large corporations nearby have missions that support sustainable, organic agriculture; we hope to form mutually beneficial partnerships where something is gained for all involved.
Highland Hall Waldorf School is also proud to be working partners with TreePeople and El Nido. Throughout the year, our campus farm is host to community outreach workshops presented by TreePeople and El Nido. Both organizations support and educate about environmental and food growth sustainability.
Josephine Porter Institute - source of biodynamic preparations