Apply to the Stonewall Farm School Today!

Stonewall Farm School 

Many rewards come out of farming. Some would like to change professions. Others do it out of love for the land or a commitment to linking farms and communities.

This is where the Stonewall Farm School can help. The Stonewall Farm School entails a year-long program in our organic dairy or garden, giving interested folks the practical farming skills and business background to explore a career in farming. We emphasize hard work, critical thinking, and  appropriate technology for small farms.

Students will operate our micro-pasteurizer, hydroponic fodder system, Cool-bot refrigeration, and maple sugaring equipment on our year-round farm.

Stonewall Farm School’s year-long program starts in the fall. Tuition includes housing, a food stipend, and the potential to be a paid intern in the summer season. Applications continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis.

To Apply: 

Feel free to download our Stonewall Farm School (SFS) Application Binder. If you prefer a hard copy or have other questions about the Farm School, you can e-mail Joshua Cline at jcline@stonewallfarm.org or call him at 603-357-7278 ext. 107.

2013 Stonewall Farm Hand Mali Jay!

2013 Stonewall Farm Hand Mali Jay!

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Mondays at Wild Roots!

Wild Roots is now offering three 8 week  sessions that run on Mondays from 8:30-11:30 (a shortened schedule that  includes snack, but not lunch).  The sessions are as follows: Session I: Sept. 16th – Nov. 4th;  Session II: Jan. 27th – March 24th, and;  Session III: March 31st – May 19th.  The cost is $175/session.  Space is quite limited!

These Mondays will run very similar to what we are doing currently at Wild Roots, but we will not venture as far from  the building (so we can better address potty training/diapering). Those registered for these sessions will depart at 11:30 am, which allows  them time to enjoy lunch and naps at home.   Please e-mail  llowe@stonewallfarm.org or call Liza Lowe (603)-852-2908 for more  information or to enroll.

For more information, feel free to review the Monday Registration Form and Mondays Enrollment Contract documents attached. We look forward to seeing you all here!

Wild Roots Nature School at Stonewall Farm Now Open!

Are you looking for a nature-based program which allows your child to follow the seasons and benefit the most through hands-on experiential education and farm activities during the school year?

The Wild Roots Nature School at Stonewall Farm is now open, welcoming children ages 3-5 and with its child care license now in hand. The schedule will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 am-12:30 pm during the school year.
For more information, feel free to e-mail educator Liza Lowe at llowe@stonewallfarm.org; or call Stonewall Farm at 603-357-7278; or check out the Wild Roots Nature School Guide. You can also access key paperwork for Wild Roots Nature School via our Parent Handbook, Registration Form, Health Assessment Form, and Enrollment Contract links. We look forward to working with you soon!
Wild Roots Nature School

Wild Roots Nature School

Calling All Future Farmers to Stonewall Farm School!

Whether it be out of passion for making a fresh professional move, out of love for the land to manage soils and waters in an environmentally conscious way, or out of commitment to bridging our “foodscapes” with surrounding communities, many rewards come out of farming.

Of course, you also face the inevitable +12-hour work days, constant manure and soil on your clothes, and the long-term process of realizing the fruits of your labors. Yet, as recent U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics have revealed, with the median age of the American farmer being 57 years old, we need young farmers and we need them soon!

This is where we at Stonewall Farm can step in to lead the education of future farmers. We own over 120 acres of land and over 30 Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle in a certified organic dairy. We manage three acres of produce which drives a year-round CSA, as well as a maple stand which produces Grade A and B maple syrup. We have been an active farm landscape for over 250 years in our corner of southwestern New Hampshire. If anyone is in a position to launch a school centered around holistic and practical education on community-based agriculture, then Stonewall Farm School proves to be in the best position possible.

The Stonewall Farm School will be a year-long program in our organic dairy or garden, giving interested folks the practical farming skills and business background to explore a career in farming. We emphasize hard work, critical thinking, and  appropriate technology for small farms. Students will operate our micro-pasteurizer, hydroponic fodder system, Cool-bot refrigeration, and maple sugaring equipment on our year-round farm.

Stonewall Farm School’s year-long program starts in the fall. Tuition includes housing, a food stipend, and the potential to be a paid intern in the summer season. We are accepting registrations on a rolling basis through November 15th.

If you’ve ever given serious thought to a farming lifestyle, or just want to learn skills to make a difference in how your community, family, and friends eat, consider signing up for the Stonewall Farm School. You’ll get dirty, but you’ll also get fulfilled.

For more information on Stonewall Farm School, you can e-mail Joshua Cline at jcline@stonewallfarm.org or call him at 603-357-7278 ext. 107.

Stonewall Farmscape Stonewall Farmscape

2013-2014 Tapline Guide for Stonewall Farm School Programs Has Arrived!

Stonewall Farm strives to be a valuable resource to area schools while also meeting their educational mission of connecting people to the land and the role of local agriculture in their lives.  Our Tapline Guide offers just the school program options your class and your children deserve. The program listing contains information on the New Hampshire State Standards that each program covers.  We are always willing to discuss how we can adapt or adjust our programs to meet the needs of local teachers.  If you have any questions, or desire a custom program based on a topic you don’t see available, please call our program director Hannah Fleischmann at (603)-357-7278.

This year, we will be featuring “Farm Animals,” “Wetland Wildlife,” “Farm to Table,” “Ice Harvesting, “Maple Sugarin’,” and more programs.

To access our Tapline Guide with information on the programs we offer for the 2013-2014 school year, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you and your class here at Stonewall Farm soon!


Open House for the Wild Roots Nature School!

Do you want a creative, experiential school alternative for your toddler in the Keene area this school year?

Wild Roots Nature School will be opening its doors as one such venue right here at Stonewall Farm on Wednesday September 4th!

To introduce the Wild Roots Nature School to the greater community, Wild Roots educator and founder Liza Lowe will be hosting an “Open House & Information Session” for interested parents  and community members on Wednesday August 28th here at Stonewall Farm from 5:00-7:00 pm.

For more information on this event, feel free to browse the Wild Roots Open House & Information Session flyer and we look forward to helping educate your children here at Stonewall Farm!

 

Wild Roots Nature School

Wild Roots Nature School

Bike for Bovines Race & Expanding Community Partnerships at the Farm

This past Sunday (July 14th), we at Stonewall Farm hosted what feels like an ever-growing annual tradition with the Bike for Bovines Race & Ice Cream Day. With over 100 racers participating and dozens more of spectators, supporters, and other curious community members, we’re realizing how much stronger we are with diversifying our offerings. Not only in food with our ice cream and yogurt being made at times on a weekly basis, but also in people coming to us for original recreational experiences.

Where else can you bike miles across rolling cobbles and marshlands, and then grab a farm-made serving (or two) of maple ice cream?!

However, another lesson we continue to learn and to put into daily practice would be the crucial role of community partnerships. Largely thanks to collaborating with Root 66 Race Series were we able to make the Bike for Bovines Race as much of a mutualistic, excitingly driven event. Then, there is the New England Mountain Bike Association which helped chart and craft our 2013 Trail Map and Brochure which encompasses all of our landmarks and trails, but also informs visitors on the dynamism of our farm as a wedding venue, as a sustainable source for local, heirloom vegetables, and much more. Furthermore, we could not carry out the work performed on our Volunteer Days at the Farm or the local vendors which highlight our foodstuffs and in turn attract more visitors(!) They include but are certainly not limited to Liberty Mutual, Keene State College-Upward Bound, Monadnock Food Co-op, Walpole Mountain View Winery, and many more.

If you have experienced the taste of our ice cream or yogurt after a long summer day; or if your child cannot stop telling stories about their summer camp week here at Stonewall; or if you attended a wedding ceremony and/or reception on our grounds during a crisp fall evening; or if you have snowshoed or even taken a sleigh ride across our wintry landscapes; or sampled late spring strawberries from our CSA, then you know the value of Stonewall Farm to Keene and to local food in general.

As a nonprofit, we are constantly seeking financial support to maintain (if not grow) on our active teaching farm model and experiences we offer. Some of the most meaningful support we can receive comes from our annual memberships, wherein you can become a “Steward” at different membership rates and know that you’re helping make Stonewall Farm, Stonewall Strong. While there are more than a few incentives and related discounts for our foodstuffs, our maple syrup, and more, we are grateful just to know that you care enough about Stonewall and enter into your own partnership with us. For more information, you can visit our Support Stonewall Farm page.

Help us to keep on course and thank you!

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Photo Courtesy of Our Events Intern, Katie Copeland, July 14th, 2013

Small Farming Technology: CoolBot

DSCF0457

Farming on a small-scale often invites innovation. With a herd hovering around 30 heifers and a 3 acre growing area, Stonewall Farm most definitely constitutes a small venture. Yet, we take pride in this classification and believe that our intimate size puts us in a position to be an effective resource for people  just starting out, or to those who are interested in investing in a small model business. Today, I am going to talk about one of the simplest technologies around for small scale cold storage. Any farmer, of produce or dairy, will tell you that a primary challenge for their business is cold storage. Veggies quickly wilt in the heat of the summer sun and we all know that dairy products don’t stand a chance without some substantially cool temperatures. Yet too often, cold storage systems are prohibitively expensive for new business owners. Not only are they pricey to purchase (a typical walk-in storage unit costs upwards of $5000) but they also require a considerable electrical input to keep them operating.

Enter CoolBot technology. A CoolBot allows for a  cool a storage unit to run off a traditional air conditioner unit. Normally, air conditioners are unable to go below 60 degrees before freezing up. However, CoolBot technology employs a micro-controller that, as the CoolBot website explains, “interfaces with your air conditioner – controlling and co-ordinating its output so that you can access nearly all your cooling power, even as you keep temperatures in your walk-in cooler in the 30’s without re-wiring and without any freeze-ups.”

Here is a photograph of the CoolBot micro-controller:

coolbot

As hooked up to our air conditioner:

DSCF0464

CoolBots retail for around $315.00. This price does not include the price of an air conditioner, or of the actual storage unit, but even with these added items, CoolBots are substantially cheaper than the average cost of a  typical walk-in. We have been utilizing CoolBot technology since last June and store our cheese, yogurt, and seasonal produce in our outdoor storage unit.

Below are the plans for our insulated storage unit which was built by Panel Pros, based out of Keene. Our unit, measuring 6x8x6 cost $1500.00 to build (not including a door) and required an additional $1,500 for the door, dairy grade storage interior (which must be constructed with a material that can be easily washed out), air conditioner, and CoolBot micro-controller. Our cold storage unit cost us a total of $3000 while a typical walk-in cooler of the same dimensions can run from $8000 to $10,000. And an added benefit of the CoolBot is that they are easily replaced, unlike a broken walk-in.

STONEWALL_COOLER_SIP Plans

Overall we have only good things to say about our cold storage unit. If you are interested in learning more about CoolBot technology, visit the CoolBot website, or stop by the farm and have a look at ours.

-Sarah

To watch a YouTube video from Ron Khosla on CoolBot installation, check out this video we found online:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTR6yfep8dM&feature=youtu.be