The fourth graders enjoyed their trip to Live Power farm in Covelo, a beautiful valley near Willits. Live Power farm is a biodynamic farm (based on principles put forth by Rudolf Steiner) and is run by Steve and Gloria Decater. Passionate and dedicated, they commit to using power from the sun to produce food for 70 families that participate in their CSA program.
Sheep shearing, potato harvesting, building a biodynamic compost pile, removing brambles, chopping overgrown broccoli and shoveling cow and horse manure were just some of the chores the children completed during their visit.
Waking in the dark, layering up and donning their rubber boots, the children rolled out of their warm sleeping bags when the last stars faded in the dawn light. They gathered in front of the farm house to begin their morning tasks which included wood splitting, milking the cow and feeding the horses, steers, chickens, dairy cows and sows.
Once morning chores were completed, the breakfast bell rang for the children, who then enjoyed a warm breakfast complete with hot chocolate made with milk from the cows. Once nourished themselves, the children went to put the sheep and cows out to pasture for the day. Throughout the day, farm chores continued at a slow easy pace, which allowed children time to be on the land without feeling rushed and to watch the cows chew their hay and to be at peace with the beautiful still work horses.
For over 40 years, Gloria and Steven have generously hosted thousands of Waldorf students for a three night/ four day farm trip. Children leave the farm with an understanding that humans have been cultivating land for 10,000 years, and only in the past 100 years have they depended on fossil fuel. The children learned that everything on the farm is connected- the land, plants, animals and humans, and that without one the others would fail to thrive or even exist.
One of the many gifts we received at the farm was the benefit of sleeping in a new building that has been a dream of the Decaters for a long time. We arrived in the rain, and felt blessed to have an option to have a roof over our heads to protect us from wetness and the chill of morning frost. They are still fundraising for this beautiful conference room which will one day have a kitchen, bathrooms and a shower. Watch this video to meet Steven, Gloria and their work horses!
More farms we love:
Botany, gardening, and learning to cultivate and care for plants are all part of the Waldorf curriculum, with even our kindergarten classrooms caring for their own garden patches. Here are a few other community farms we love.
Bramble Tail Herdshare Program, Sebastapol, CaliforniaBramble Tail Homestead is one part of the Green Valley Farm + Mill land project, located in Sebastopol. Their herdshare program is an opportunity to co-own their herd of Jersey cows and become part of their mission to promote an ecological food web. Members of the herdshare get a portion of their raw milk. Learn more on their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a member of the herdshare!
Three Springs Community Farm, Bodega, CaliforniaLast year’s third grade class visited this beautiful 80-acre educational farm in Bodega, California, goats, pigs, chickens and biodynamically grown produce. The children were assigned tasks like digging and sifting compost, harvesting radishes, garlic scapes, and peas, planting potatoes, and using hand scythes for cutting grass and then getting to feed the pigs, chickens, and goats.