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High Mowing School Garden and Farm Project

This Projects Block is centered on community service and sustainable food systems, with the focus on our developing campus farm and other local farms. Work in the school gardens will include planting and preparing the soil for the new season, as well as laying the groundwork for future projects. We will also visit other farms to engage in community service and learn how sustainable practices are applied to different farm settings.

In addition, we will learn about the modern food production system and how food distribution is a social issue. Students will learn to become involved with and stay informed about the rapidly changing agricultural industry. Fair Food, by Oran B. Hesterman, PhD will provide discussion topics for our study.

Our Experience as Ghanaian Family

Thursday, May 9, 2013:

We spent our second night as a Ghanaian family in the Global Village. We slept in a small house without electricity or running water. We were given a small amount of fuel, four matches, and money to purchase our food at a noisy marketplace. As luck would have it, we arrived at our new home in the pouring rain. 
 
In our family only the head of household could read. 

Each person in our group was assigned a role in the family, for example, the head of household was the only family member who could read. The mother was to give birth sometime in the evening and we had to keep the baby (a water balloon!) alive until morning. Another family member lost the use of his right arm and hand. 

We were given a recipe for a typical West African dish - Fufu with Sauce. which was surprisingly good, especially after the effort it took to prepare and cook it over an open fire. In the morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal, we emerged from the Global Village with a renewed appreciation for the relative ease of our lives.
 
our overnight in a 'Ghanian Village'

 

Posted by HMS on Monday May 13, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Farm Chores

Wednesday, May 8, 2013:
 
Wednesday morning began with a tractor lesson from Brad, followed by more planting, trellis-making, and general greenhouse chores. After lunch on Wednesday, we headed to Overlook Farm in Rutland, Mass. Overlook Farm is an educational center of Heifer International, whose goal is to end poverty and hunger in the world by helping communities become sustainable through agriculture. At the farm there are representative homes and livestock from the many areas of the world where Heifer International is active. During our 2-night visit we helped with daily chores, toured the gardens, and learned about issues that keep people from being able to feed themselves. 
 
 working on the farm
 
Posted by HMS on Monday May 13, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Bread and Cheese

Monday, May 6, 2013:

Today we took a field trip to Orchard Hill Breadworks, the bakery that makes and delivers our bread. Noah told us the history of his family business and explained how artisanal bread is made in a brick oven. We got to make our own pizza for lunch, topped with fresh baby kale from the greenhouse.

Next we drove to Grafton, Vermont, to the Grafton Village Cheese Company. Master Cheesemaker, Dane Huebner, gave us a tour of the cheese production facility, including the caves where cheese is aged. He explained how his award-winning cheeses are made and we got to feast on samples.

students visit Orchard Hill Breadworks and Grafton Village Cheese Company

Posted by HMS on Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Greenhouse

Friday, May 3, 2013: 

We began the morning with a basic lesson on biodynamic principles from Brad. Then, Friday being a flower day, we scoured the campus for half-opened dandelions to pick. We set our harvest out to dry for a biodynamic preparation next fall.

The group gathered in the boys' dorm to watch King Corn, a 2007 documentary about two men who move to Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn. It was an eye-opening experience to find out just how different large-scale farming practices are from what we do here on the hill.

In the afternoon we weeded the greenhouse, watered, and performed other chores around the chicken coop and lower field.
 
working in the High Mowing greenhouse
 
 
Posted by HMS on Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Planting Onions

Thursday, May 2, 2013:
 
Onions! We spent the day replanting onions from the greenhouse into beds in the upper field. After planting, we went over each row with the hoe to interrupt weed seed germination. The onions will be watered daily using the new irrigation system.

student prepare beds and plant onions

Posted by HMS on Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 11:07AM
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