The Learning Center at Greystone Farm
The Learning Center at Greystone Farm
Build a 21st Century 'Sustainable Agriculture' Learning Center in our 19th Century Barn
Build a 21st Century 'Sustainable Agriculture' Learning Center in our 19th Century Barn Read more
The American food system is imperiled. National water usage issues, local land use decisions of the past 20 years, and the profound disconnect between people's understanding of food and how it actually gets to market, has made for some urgent societal issues. If “you are what you eat'" then our national epidemics of childhood obesity, cardiovascular disease and various cancers, are a stark indictment of our compromised food system and our natural environment.
Although we at Greystone Farm don’t believe we’re going to resolve all of these problems at once, we do believe knowledge is power and the plans we have for the Learning Center and the Learning Garden, at Greystone Farm, will be a great platform to transfer knowledge and that power, through the on-going education of children and adults alike.
Our plans for The Learning Center include
• hands-on soil workshops, covering the fertility, composition and stability of soils
• programs to promote sustainable organic growing methods and cooking
• wool spinning
• sketching and photography classes
• the study of Native Pollinator and Conservation Buffers
• an area for kids to learn about cooking herbs, medicinal plants and beneficial insects, including the honey bee.
We envision the following activities on an annual basis:
- The Learning Garden is where we will collaborate with the Cornwall-Lebanon School District (through our farm internship program) and where we will introduce the Herb garden, the Medicinal Herb garden, the Wildflower garden, the Natural Pollinator garden, and the ‘Three Sisters’ (a Native American companion planting, consisting of corn, beans and squash).
- An area within the Learning Garden for yoga, quiet contemplation and, every summer, multi-denominational, ‘on-farm’ dinners, made from everything grown at Greystone Farm.
- Bring in additional interns in 2014. Our intern program will get a considerable boost as the Learning Garden will provide an excellent platform for interns to gain and share knowledge, to launch their own teaching careers and farms, in a real effort to pay it forward.
With Kickstarter support we can complete all of the carpentry and restorative stone work on the barn, the Learning Center (corncrib) and the Learning Garden by fall 2014. An amazing team of carpenters and stone masons will descend on Greystone Farm and transform our 178-year old farm, into a place where learning about food and the sustainable methods for growing it, will empower others to go forward and make a difference. Together, with your support, we truly can change the world.
Risks and challenges
I am confident my life experience has prepared me well for any unforeseen contingencies that may arise during the implementation of this project. My prior career choices have led me into the unknown and I have successfully navigated my way through, to positive results.
I spent 23 years in the sport marketing industry, where meticulous planning was required for the successful implementation of multi-million dollar events. After 9/11 I spent time as Program Manager, with New York City’s FEMA sponsored National Rapid Response Rescue Team. The ability to deal with the unexpected was a daily occurrence. It is no different in farming, where every day one rises to meet the challenges and mitigate the vagaries of nature.
During the past 6 years, together with my wife and staff, we have built Bare Foot Organics into a diverse, USDA Certified Organic food company. The Learning Center at Greystone Farm is a logical and important extension of this endeavor.
We have already met with local township planners, to address issues such as parking and traffic congestion and we have developed a timeline and a blueprint for how the whole project will come together. We await only funding to move to the permitting process.
We believe it IS possible to make a difference in the world and the programs we will create at The Learning Center at Greystone Farm, will have impact far beyond our farm. Together, with your patience and support, we can be on the vanguard of a better, more environmentally sound, sustainable food system.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail"- Ralph Waldo EmersonLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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