Therapeutic value of working on the land
While working on the land, individuals strengthen muscles and coordination, improve their balance and increase their endurance. Working as a team, students and apprentices learn to problem solve, take direction, focus on a task for long periods of time, and carry out appropriate social interactions.
Each season of the year is a celebration of certain tasks, including weeding and mulching, preparing beds, leaf raking, firewood cutting and stacking, moving haybales, mucking out, snow shoveling. Some tasks are year around such as feeding animals, milking cows, mucking out, greenhouse,
Long hours of labor are rewarded by the harvest and delivery of meat, vegetables and grains to the community’s houses. Young adults learn respect for the plants and land, confidence in themselves, and appreciation for the work.
The farm animals provide the possibility for the students to nurture not only their own self-awareness but also their capacity to care for others. Our working farm is a safe learning space. While caring for the animals and helping to run the daily operations of the farm, students develop a sense of meaning and commitment to their work, the animals ,and each other. As part of a farm crew, students learn to work together in teams as well as own their own, independently taking on responsibility.