Kimberton Waldorf Farm Program
Kimberton Waldorf’s Farm Program provides year round opportunities to engage in place-based and experiential educational experiences on our Applewood Farm and school campus.
While fostering a connection to the natural world has long been a key value at KWS, recent research has shown us that experiences in nature improve learning and emotional well-being in children and young people. Having genuine, hands-on experiences in nature fosters a sense of wonder and awe, which is the foundation for all scientific inquiry, and provides children and young people with a valuable perspective on the role and value of nature in our lives.
At KWS, we don’t view this important experience as something extra, but as an integral part of our education. Our founders understood this and originally opened our school as Kimberton Farms School over 78 years ago.
Our Farm Program offers homeschoolers, groups, schools and our current students and families opportunities to immerse themselves in our farm, in our garden and in our forest and fields. Through outdoor projects, farm chores, woodland walks, songs, stories, crafts, exploration and discovery, children come to an understanding of self, community, and natural world as inextricably linked. The resulting deep empathy is life affirming, and results in young people who are able to act responsibly in support of both the present and the future.
Children will experience the grounding rhythms of nature through the work of a permanent farm. Through genuine hands-on learning, children can experience real feelings for the natural word, and can then develop a deep sense of the responsible relationships that exist between human beings and nature. Many people are calling this type of place-based learning as ecological literacy, meaning the cultivation of emotional and social intelligences that happens when we connect children with the rhythms of the natural world. This connection results in the ability to understand how nature sustains life by creating and nurturing interconnected communities. For us in Waldorf education, the sense of the earth as an organism permeates our education.
- Chores on the farm include cooking meals, milking, mucking stalls, and animal care.
- Projects on the farm include basket making, stacking wood, bricklaying, carpentry projects, churning butter, baking, working in the garden, weaving, carding wool.
- Activities include fort building, swimming in the creek, exploring wildlife corridors, experiencing an “old time” school day with a morning lesson in our old one room schoolhouse, woodland walks, songs, stories and crafts.
- All our meals and snacks are organic and locally sourced. We maintain a 2-acre teaching garden on campus. We also use produce grown by the Kimberton CSA on land leased from the school. Yogurt from the Seven Stars Farm is delicious, and our laying hens provide us with yummy nutritious eggs.
- Our 425-acre campus provides a living lab for Ecoliteracy. Immersion in various components of the natural world like the creek, the farm, the forest, the garden, and the wetlands foster a profound understanding of the natural world grounded in direct experience.
- Our curriculum includes aspects of botany, nutrition, forestry, gardening, animal husbandry, environmental studies, life sciences, systems thinking, food equity, arts, conservation and sustainability.