A dispatch from farm school:

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By Ruthie King, Director of Operations, Grange Farm School

Two very short months have zipped by since welcoming our new class of students, and boy have we been busy!

The Grange Farm School is located in Mendocino County, California, on a beautiful 5,000 acre ranch. We host residential students, 18 and older, who participate in our three-month Practicum Student Program. Practicum Students are taught a rigorous curriculum five days a week, blending organic food production with sustainable entrepreneurship, industrial arts, and more. The learning experience is a blend of classroom time with guest lecturers and staff, field trips to production farms and supporting services, and guided field work on our nine acres of mixed vegetables, pasture, and orchard.

GrangeFarmSchool2In the first week we covered ecology, holistic management, soil science, blogging, and animal anatomy. A theme we come back to again and again is that diversity is key, observation and questioning are skills of great importance, and a holistic view of the whole picture is the most successful angle for decision making.

Our second, third, and fourth weeks were packed full of work on infrastructure, developing a smooth livestock process, understanding animal behavior, maintaining and harvesting our summer vegetable and orchard operations, irrigation and plumbing, small engine repair, the basics of running a farm business, traditional and modern agricultural systems … the list goes on!

Students are working with us to plant out our wholesale crops, build shelter for our pastured poultry operation, and market the school and produce. Their input and creativity is fueling growth and development here, and their imprint will be seen and felt for years to come! How exciting to have so many minds and hands participating in the startup of the Grange Farm School.

We are currently seeking students for our September-November term—ten students at a time are admitted into the program, and there are three terms every year (spring, summer and fall). To learn more, visit our website or find us on Facebook.

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