Farm & Garden Program
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 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, the faculty 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. For more detail, view A Year in Review article, written a few years ago.
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.