Farm summer workshop for high school teens.

Farm

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"I learned that hard work pays off. The best thing about this workshop is the range of farming elements we were introduced to.”

 

The Putney School is situated on Elm Lea Farm, a working farm of large vegetable gardens, a dairy herd, small animals, and a managed forest woodlot. As a student in the Farm program, you participate in every aspect of this diversified farmstead, led by farmer educators and working side-by-side with the school's professional farm crew. We discuss sustainability, farm practices, food and the future of small-scale agriculture. Most of all, we work hard, get dirty, and experience the satisfaction that comes from this unique combination of labor and learning.

Students are introduced to dairy farming by working morning chores at 6:00 am a couple of mornings a week, including milking, feeding, shoveling out stalls and troughs, leading cows out to pasture, and caring for newborn calves. You'll get to know the more than 30 Holstein and Jersey cows in our herd and begin to understand the process of selective breeding. Students also learn about raising small animals, including pigs, chickens, turkeys, and sheep.

An additional component of the Farm program is horsemanship. Our equestrian program is safe for beginners and equipped to challenge more experienced riders. Students groom and tack up horses, and ride on our many beautiful trails. Students new to riding as well as those coming with experience are supported as they develop their skills in English-style riding. Each student enrolled in the Farm workshop rotates through all aspects of the program including animal care, gardening, horsemanship and 6:00 am barn chores.

Local field trips give students the opportunity to meet small and large scale local farmers. We pick fruit and berries to be served in the dining hall, and learn about Vermont cheeses by visiting a local artisan sheep-cheese maker and a nearby cheese factory. There is an opportunity for students in this program, regardless of farm experience, for hands-on learning about life on a Vermont farm.

 

Faculty: Abby Verney-Fink

Farm teacher - Abby Verney-Fink

Abby graduated from Bates College in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a focus in education. After school she spent a season at a CSA farm in CT, and then worked at farm and/or place-based education centers, such as The Ecology School in Maine and The American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece. Students from The American Farm School pointed her in the direction of the Putney Summer Programs in 2014, when she started as the farm teaching apprentice. She is currently finishing her second year of the Progressive Education Lab, and has been teaching in the science department at Putney for the last year.

The Putney School Summer Programs
Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road,
Putney, Vermont 05346 USA
802-387-6297 (main), (802) 387-6216 (fax)
summer@putneyschool.org