Over 180 students have benefited from internships which allow them to experience the hands-on operation of a naturally grown vegetable farm. Interaction with peers, the general public, and related skills are just part of the overall experience offered.
ORGANIC VEGETABLE FARMING
Students learn various skills including soil development, irrigation, plant science, organic pest and disease control, harvesting methods and retailing through the farm stand.
The farm taps over 1400 maple trees offering student-interns the opportunity to learn maple syrup production from the tree to the bottle. At the same time, they participate in operating guided tours for elementary school students and adults demonstrating various techniques from the indigenous inhabitants of the area to the modern day sugarhouse.
Student-interns are involved in maintaining hives on the property utilized for pollination and the production of honey. They learn how to maintain the hive through the various seasons. Future plans include beekeeping workshops available to the public on an ongoing basis to help establish more healthy hives in the area.
RECREATIONAL TRAIL MAINTENANCE
The farm is responsible for maintaining the majority of hiking trails in the town of New Milford and surrounding area. Interns learn the importance of integrating active recreation into environmentally sensitive areas.
DURATION: 6 Weeks
The farm maintains a fully equipped blacksmith shop which provides classes for both students and adults while at the same time allowing interns to make various repairs to buildings and machinery.
Utilizing produce and fruit from the farm interns have the opportunity of learning a wide range of culinary skills that provide products (ie. Baked goods, jams, jellies, maple candy) for sale at our various retail outlets. Skills learnt are maintained throughout these individuals lifetime.
WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUSINESS
The operation not only maintains a farm stand on the property, but provides produce and syrup to grocery stores, restaurants and farmer’s markets. Interns have an opportunity to work with wholesale managers and general public acquiring the skills necessary to run a successful business.
SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE ADVOCACY
Through the farms various agricultural programming the issues of sustainability and climate change are a primary focus specifically with the maple syruping program, which is driven by temperature. The recent changes are easily highlighted to visitors at the sugarhouse.
A virtual workshops series is presented by the farm highlighting innovative techniques and resources to aid local farms. The farm has become a clearinghouse for information which is then conveyed to hundreds of farms both locally and across the country.
The farm offers a wide selection of agricultural curriculums designed to introduce elementary school children to the various facets of farming. High school advanced placement classes share in soil testing, composting, alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers and a general knowledge of organic farming.
Interns maintain and continue to renovate the oldest graveyard in the town of New Milford, established in 1709, the graveyard offers an opportunity to learn skills that are unique the maintenance and repairs of tombstones. This ongoing effort has resulted in the renovation of a major portion of this grave site.