Our programs are designed with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in mind.
Grades K-3: Who Lives on the Farm Students work in a number of learning stations, including the Education Garden and the Farm’s greenhouses, growing fields, barnyard with its historic buildings, compost area, and surrounding woods. Students are introduced to the living community of plants, animals and people on an organic farm. By the end of the morning students have a good idea where food comes from, are exposed to several basic principles of science and nature, and are introduced to key elements and themes involved in the organic growing process.
Themes may include one or more of the following based on expressed needs of the group leader in advance of the field trip:
- Holly Hill Farm as a window to New England farming history
- Keys to organic farming with an emphasis on the roles of soil and compost
- Organic techniques used to control weeds and pests and bring fertility to the soil
- Vegetable and flower identification.
Grades 4 – 6: From Plant to Meal Participants learn about plants, how they are structured, how each part enables the plants to get its basic needs, what those basic needs are, and what practices the organic farmer uses to make sure his plants grow into healthy specimens ready for the table. As the season allows, teaching tools include sowing seed, building a compost pile, transplanting, analyzing soil, weeding and harvesting.
Grades 4 – 6: From Seed to Salad This program is similar to From Plant to Meal with a greater emphasis on understanding health and safety issues. Students learn the dangers to the environment and to personal health when farmers and gardeners rely on pesticides and herbicides to support the growth of plants. At the various stations students will learn about strategies that enable the organic farmer to avoid using those toxic materials.
Grades 7+: Life on an Organic Farm Adjusted to the appropriate age and grade level, this program is similar to those described above.