East Hill Farm runs an exciting and educational Farm School Program during the school year. Students attending Farm School are immersed in barn work with our farmers and animals and participate in workshops covering subjects such as pond ecology, mushroom gathering, sheep shearing and bread making.
I thought it would be interesting to see what the students thought about their experience at Farm School. The following are excerpts from essays the 7th and 8th grade students from The Village School in Waldwick, NJ wrote near the end of their recent stay.
This October, the middle school students of The Village School in New Jersey went north to East Hill Farm in NH. I, being among them, was extremely excited for the trip. My sister had traveled there two years prior, and told me of the farm’s greatness. However, when I first stepped out of the bus and on the muddy earth, I was amazed.
Some of my favorite things about the farm were how you felt like you were a real farmer. It was nice to be treated well and not like a kid. It was great that it was real farm work that you could participate in. It was hard to wake up but once you started to work you were awake.
Farm School is an amazing experience which has the ability to change children’s minds. When you are sitting at home drinking milk, or eating hamburger, you usually don’t think about anything that came before. You take everything you eat or wear for granted. People never realize how much effort it took to get you the things that satisfy your needs. In my opinion, East Hill Farm made me feel thankful for what I have today.
I loved how all the teachers at Farm School were really kind and happy about their job. I would definitely love to come again.
One thing that I learned while being on the farm was that animals live before they become another thing. I will appreciate my meat more now knowing that they were living before becoming a hamburger. Once I go home I will share with my family to be thankful of the food. Now that I see how long it takes for my food to be harvested and grown I will appreciate it more.
Activities included shoveling horse poop, splitting wood and plucking thistles from the ground in a sheep pasture. I had an amazing time at East Hill Farm and would return any day. They provided me with a great learning experience and lots of fun. When I am older, I want to have a farm of my own.
Two of my favorite things at East Hill Farm were the Mushroom Walk and wood splitting. Both activities were with a man who said to call him Mushroom Man. He told us all about mushrooms and how they grew and the names of certain types, which is something I’ve never thought about until then. He even showed us where to look to find valuable mushrooms! One we found was estimated at $20-$40!
Now that I have gone to Farm School, I will be more conscious of the food that I am consuming. I realize that preparing food is one thing, but actually supplying it is completely different. From milking the cows and then seeing milk on the table was mind blowing. Even though we weren’t drinking the milk from the cows here, we definitely appreciated the work put into it.
Throughout my time here on this farm I have done nothing but learn, laugh and live in the moment. I have forgotten to check my schedule and ask “what’s next”. I have learned to work with strangers and my classmates I had failed to get to know inside my classroom. I have made some of the funniest memories and I will bring home stories.
I will forever remember the joy, friendships, and education East Hill Farm has brought to me. Each of the farmers have welcomed us with open arms and treated us as a farmer. They showed us grace, patience and interest in whatever my classmates or I asked (no matter how obvious). This trip was truly magnificent.
Well, there you have it straight from the students! I am very impressed with their ability to capture the East Hill Farm School experience. Not only are they great farmers, they are fantastic writers as well.