Common Threads Farm
Our mission at Common Threads Farm is to promote thoughtful engagement in sustainable food and energy systems through hands-on, farm-based educational programs.
This summer our first we will focus primarily on food and farming (although energy will be an implicit part of any student's farm experience since we are powered by a 2 KW solar system). Through each of our program offerings, our aim is to provide young people with information about where their food comes from, how it gets to their table, how they eat it, and why it matters. Although we believe that heightening food (and energy) literacy is a necessary first step, we also believe that it is rendered relatively meaningless unless underlying attitudes and behaviors are also addressed. We hope that young people participating in our programs will not only experience the joy of connecting more intimately with the food that nourishes them, but that they will also be challenged and empowered to think about how, through their daily food (and energy) choices, they either help or harm themselves and the social and natural environments that are directly or indirectly affected by their choices.
This summer (2007) Common Threads Farm will be offering the following programs:
Healthy Starts Programs for pre-school-aged children and their families: these will be partial day programs that will invite the very young (and their families) to graze, touch, smell, sing, dig, create, and hear and tell stories about food and where it comes from.
Youth Farm Camp: week-long programs during which youth will plant, cultivate, harvest, collect eggs, milk the cow, prepare and eat delicious food all along the way asking and answering questions about where their food comes from, how it gets to their plates and why it matters.
Volunteer Days: these regularly scheduled days, advertised through the Whatcom Volunteer Center, Starbucks, and high school and college service-learning centers will be part work, part celebration of the season. Planned spring work days will revolve around the construction of mobile laying houses, installation of garden fencing, stuccoing the solar shed, and (of course) planting!
Harvesting the Learning: our fall Harvesting the Learning Festival will be a harvest festival with a strong educational bent. We anticipate workshops in cheese-making, composting, solar ovens, paper-making, and a number of other topics (in addition to a lot of harvest time fun!)
In addition, we anticipate seeking opportunities to work with teachers in local schools (as well as home schooling groups and other community based organizations) who wish to use farm-based learning as a way to infuse their existing programs and curriculum with a sense of real-world relevance and connectedness. Prior to the fall of 2007, we will be in touch with the faculty who coordinates culminating projects for seniors in the Bellingham and Ferndale school districts to offer Common Threads Farm as a context in which to engage in sustainable food and energy focused culminating projects.