The Village School at Bread & Butter Farm
We are thrilled to announce The Village School Bread & Butter to begin this Fall, for the 2017-2018 school year! Village School will be offered every Wednesday at our farm and forests for kids grades 1-5 (Ages 7-11)
Phone: Corie (802) 922-5349
FALL 2017-SPRING 2018 DATES
* Wednesdays 9am-3pm
* September 13 - December 13 and February 7 - May 30, 2018
* @ Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne
PROGRAM COST AND REGISTRATION
Our program tuition is $1750 for the school year. To register please fill out this application. We also welcome kids to come visit first before committing. We want to make sure the program will be a great fit for them and your whole family. We also pro-rate for kids joining us after the first day (September 13th).
Village School is an opportunity for kids to come to our farm and forests every Wednesday during the school year for the entire day. During these days, they will sink into the rhythm of farm life and the natural world where their classroom is our farm and over 100 acres of forest, fields, pastures, savannahs, and marsh in Shelburne, VT.
The Village School will give kids an opportunity to experience life on a thriving farm and develop the essential skills of being part of a community. Kids will learn to care for the land that sustains us by participating in raising and growing food, preparing the meals that we eat, and learning the skills necessary to be self-reliant and strong. We hope to help the kids develop a sense of ownership and care of the land as they learn more deeply about it and all it has to offer.
The Village School will combine farm chores and farm projects with exploring our surrounding woods and wild lands. We celebrate that farming has a necessary place in our lives as humans, while also remembering and honoring the wild areas. With a deeper understanding and appreciation of both, our farms and wild lands can be more similar and respected in the same ways. We can learn from the wild areas on how to more gently cultivate the farms. We will cultivate a culture of respect, love, curiosity, tradition and openness, to build a healthy Village. Our mentors will engage kids through meaningful work and games emphasizing the interconnectedness of humans with each other and our surrounding natural community.
The program provides a basic routine and rhythm that kids can count on and learn, while allowing for our days to naturally unfold and bring surprises and adventure.
The range of activities and skills include traditional skills, farm chores, free play, problem solving, team work, connection to the land, games, connection to our food and connection to Vermont natural history.
The kids will participate in the harvesting, and caring for the food growing on the farm. By engaging the kids directly with the food that people eat, we aim to develop a love for eating healthy food from the land. This will be a central theme of the Village school. We view food as a vital component of this program and of our humanity. We will teach the kids the nourishing qualities of fresh food while caring for the land and the animals that provide for us.
Unstructured free play is an important part of growing up. It is a vital component of a child's development and often the first thing lost as their days become busier. Free play helps kids develop self-advocacy skills and learn to work collaboratively while stimulating creativity. It creates space for kids to discover areas of interest and pursue what they are passionate about. As a main component of village school, free play will be a part of our daily routine as we explore the farmstead and surrounding wild lands.
Traditional skills are those that have been passed from one generation to the next throughout human history. They provide a direct and meaningful connection to the natural world, and serve to empower and fuel creativity. At the Village School we will practice all kinds of traditional skills, from wild edible foraging to friction fire building, wood carving to cordage making, and many things in between. We will focus on what can be derived from the land around us as a means of better understanding our relationship with our environment.
Daily Flow Example
Chores - Guilds - Lunch - Explore time - Sit Spot - Gratitude - Fire
9:00: Arrival -Gathering circle, check in, gratitude around farm fire pit
9:30: Farm Chores
10:00: Group Game
10:30: Snack time and Guilds
12:45: Clean up
1:00: Fox Walk into Forest Base Camp
1:15: Free/explore time
2:15: Sit Spot
2:30: Story Catcher
ACTIVITIES AND SKILLS DURING GUILDS (and otherwise)
Traditional Skills: Fire building, shelter and forts, cordage making, wood crafts
Farm Skills: Harvesting and planting, animal husbandry, ideal food storage conditions
Naturalist Skills: Plant and Animal identification, soil health and building, observation, refelction
Community Member: Team building, problem solving, team work, communication, conflict resolution, trust, gender
Play: Physical health, climbing, playing, running, hiking, strength, games
If you are interested in enrolling your child, take a look at the registration form and fill that out. We also are excited for kids to come visit for the day before deciding to enroll for the school year. Please call us (Corie - 802-922-5349) or email us (email@example.com) for more information to talk more about the program or to set up a visit. We also love to meet your kiddo after school before they come check things out. We want to make sure the Village School is the right fit for your kiddo and your family!
Alex Gemme: Alex has been a part of Bread & Butter Farm in various capacities for several years - as a gardener, and as a Burger Night crew. We are thrilled to have him here in a more full time capacity as one of the Mentors for Village School as well as in our greenhouses and gardens. Alex has taught in various settings including in the gardens at Rock Point School, as a rock climbing guide, an apprentice ski guide and as a mentor with Crows Path. Alex's gentle style puts all of us at ease. He is steady and strong and kind.
Bekah Gordon: Bekah has been the "Jill of All Trades" here at Bread & Butter Farm. She has done nearly all tasks, and most recently has been the Director of our Camp Bread & Butter and Greenhouse Manager. She has also worked as the Forest Leader at the Schoolhouse Farm, Forest, Food Program for 3 years. Bekah is vibrant, fun, passionate and inspires everyone she encounters! She treats all kids as equal peers and loves to deepen trust and joy for kiddos in the woods.
Corie Pierce: Corie is the owner of Bread & Butter Farm and wears all hats on the farm. When she began farming as a 14 year old in NH, she almost instantly envisioned a program like Village School. She felt like farming and learning about how nature and growing food intersect was one of the most important things we could learn as humans, and how to do it respectfully, while protecting the earth we live on, was something all kids should learn. And have fun doing it! Corie has worked to build a farm that includes people of all ages to learn, teach, and engage in how we steward this beautiful land and grow and raise delicious, healthy food. She is thrilled to have kiddos come to Village School to deepen their connection to this land and to the people who live and work here and invite them into this community!
Other adults who work and live at Bread & Butter Farm will be part of Village School Community. We will all have lunch on Wednesdays as a community and offer special guilds to the kids. This will allow us to tap into the wide array of skills offered by all the folks who are involved with Bread & Butter Farm. More bios coming soon!
INSPIRIATION FOR VILLAGE SCHOOL:
At Bread & Butter Farm, we have a partnership with The SchoolHouse Learning Center. In collaboration with The Schoolhouse, we also run a private program for kids who attend The Schoolhouse called "Farm, Forest, and Food". This program has run for 4 years (as of 2017) and has been a wonderful opportunity for us to engage kiddos on the farm and in our woods on a regular basis. Kids from The Schoolhouse - preschoolers up through Middle School - come to the farm on a weekly basis. The FFF program was developed collaboratively with The Schoolhouse and we will continue to run this program in the 2017/2018 school year. All kids who attend The Schoolhouse participate in the FFF Program. This program is a state of the art, true "Farm to School" program that deepens kids learning about where food comes from and how to be land stewards.
We also have been long time admirers of Crow's Path in Rockpoint in Burlington Vermont and have dreamed of hosting a program of similar construct here at Bread & Butter Farm. Both Alex and Bekah have worked in various capacities with folks from Crow's Path and have also received mentorship from them. We believe that these hands on, experiential learning opportunities for kiddos to truly sink in to their community, the land, and meaningful tasks and work as essential for their growth and development. We are thrilled to offer this program to kiddos in our community!