The Fianna Farm program is an offering to bring children onto the land, practicing our nature connection routines and following a seasonal curriculum: all within the context of a working family farm. We will be bringing our games, stories and explorations into focus with the question of how we adopt and adapt from Nature to cultivate our food. We will be guided by both our curiosity and the needs of the farm as we put our hands to some collective task each week that contributes to the production of food and knowledge that we all get to share.
During each session, half of our time will be spent exploring the land of the farm and the surrounding forest, undertaking projects, surveys and inquiries that attend to the needs of the wild. And half of our time will be dedicated to the human needs represented on the farm, through which we can expect to:
- Make compost
- Make topsoil
- Milk cows and tend a herd
- Make butter, yogurt and cheese
- Plant seeds
- Tend seedlings, starters and (small scale) food crops
- Prune and tend fruit trees
- Practice seed saving
- Preserve and can fruits and vegetables
- Dry herbs and make tea
- Observe pests, weeds and “natural balance” (permaculture principles)
- Tend fences and farm boundaries
- Make hay
- Chop and stack firewood for elders
- Use farm surplus for building projects (Stilts! Sculptures! Forts and Fairy Houses!)
Our farm is a 90-acre piece of land made up of field, forest, a large creek, barns and farm buildings, as well as four homes. Elders Franz and Herta set up the farm in the early 1950s. Franz is 90 years old and visits the farm from his care facility most days. Herta is 87 and still lives on the farm, working each day on the land. They have a wealth of knowledge about the realities of a long-term productive relationship with a large piece of land, which began as a tract of coastal rainforest. Their children and grandchildren have grown up on this land in the traditional and close-knit farming community of Black Creek. Their daughter, Margaret, and her partner Fred have now taken over the running of the farm, and they are excited to host young people in an educational setting to pass on their farming knowledge. They are committed to organic and ethical farming principles, and will be volunteering their land and their time in the same ethic of investment in our future generations.
The farm has a large physical infrastructure (all hand-built by Franz!) allowing for a dedicated indoor space for Fianna to use for teaching, art projects and any challenging weather days. One of the benefits of operating on private land is that it allows us certain freedoms such as having open fires and cultivating spaces for our long-term use. Besides this we have access to the abundant facilities, tools, and materials of the farm for our programming, not to mention the priceless mentorship of the people who have tended this land over three generations.
This is a new program offering from Fianna that we are very excited about. It forms part of a long-term vision to attend to our human relationship with cultivated Nature, bringing young people into that process of cultural regeneration. So we are thrilled to be evolving this new thread of our land-based educational work in collaboration with Margaret’s family, and our first group of young apprentices.
Black Creek Farm
Day and Time:
Jan 6- Jun 8, 2020
$760 (for 18 sessions)
To register, email: email@example.com