McDowell Farm School Overview
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all." -Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.
Our mission is to inspire curiosity, teach problem-solving, and empower community connections through sustainable agriculture.
- The McDowell Farm School engages student curiosity and lays a strong foundation for meaningful inquiry based learning. Instructors encourage careful observation that leads to evidence based problem solving. We do not ask students what they want to be when they grow up, we ask them what problems they want to solve and teach them the skills they need for their future!
- Each day on the farm, students apply classroom concepts to the natural world. They are excited to learn during our multi-day, overnight program that gives students a unique opportunity to experience the Farm School as a community. Students share living and dining spaces, complete projects as a team, and are asked to support one another through new challenges.
- Focusing on where our food comes from, our standards-based curriculum is centered around all types of learners and differentiated for grades k-12. Our classroom extends beyond the walls of our teaching kitchen, beyond our 40 acres of gardens and barns, and even beyond the 1140 acres of forests, streams, and canyons of McDowell. We turn the world into our classroom and our place of discovery.
We invite you to explore the links above to learn more about our unique program.
Caring, professional instructors, each with a bachelor's degree and diverse background of knowledge and experience, lead all classes. Farm crews are organized with a maximum student to instructor ratio of 12:1, creating a strong environment for learning, questioning, discussion and understanding. A great farm experience can be life-changing; it forms the way young learners understand the world we inhabit and our place within it.
"This place is amazing!!!! The kids are working hard, but having fun doing it and learning some many wonderful things & they don't even realize it. The instructors are energetic, supportive, engaging, & really love what they are doing!!! The facilities are wonderful!!! I could go on & on, highly recommend McDowell Farm School." -Jennifer Pouncy Pannell, Facebook Review