Named one of “7 BEST FARM CAMPS FOR KIDS” in the nation by Modern Farmer magazine
Each year, the Place Based Learning Center works with more than 500 students, parents and individuals from local schools and the surrounding community.
Since 1972 more than 24,000 children have spent a week or more living and working on the farm through our Visiting Students Program and summer camps.
Approximately 120 apprentices have trained as farmers at Hawthorne Valley, and nearly all remain in farming and food-related work.
Since 1972, more than 200 interns and 500 summer camp counselors have worked with children on the farm.
Our first episode is an uplifting conversation about the power of hope between Executive Director Martin Ping and special guest, activist thinker, Frances Moore Lappé. She is the founder of Food First and the Small Planet Institute, and is author or co-author of 19 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment, including her seminal book, Diet for a Small Planet published in 1971.
It is evident to me that today’s child craves and needs connection with the natural world more than ever….whether working in the garden or forest, tending to the farm’s animals, or transforming farm products into delicious and nutritious meals. In an age of increasing “virtual” experiences and interactions, people of all ages need to engage in real, purposeful work alongside others, using the hands and body, on a regular basis. It is through such experiences that real growth and transformation of the individual, and ultimately our communities, can take place.
Before their minds have been marinated in the culture of television, consumerism, shopping malls, computers, and freeways, children can find the magic in trees, water, animals, landscapes and their own places. Properly cultivated and validated by caring and knowledgeable adults, fascination with nature can mature into ecological literacy and eventually into more purposeful lives.