Episode 1: Introduction to the farm

Farming and education concepts and issues in the 21st Century

Show Notes: Introduction to the farm.

Summer camp kids exploring the woods.

Summer camp kids exploring the woods.

Grab a cup of coffee and come along on a tour of the farm. I recorded this podcast last spring – intending to launch it then. I’d like to say that it was OBE (overtaken by events) with the kickoff of the school project, building the website and getting things rolling on that side of our endeavors. But, I have to admit, there was a bit of procrastination, meaning, I was happy to let it slip into the background while those other things were worked on. I was, and am, actually, a bit, uh, terrified at the idea of a podcast. If you know me, you know that I never run short of things to say. But, somehow this is different. There’s a vulnerability that is exposed. And, it is a bit intimidating.

Yet, as we move through our farming and education journeys, it occurs to me that others could benefit from the lessons learned here. To that end, I am inclined to share. So, here it is. In this first podcast, I take you on a visual journey of our lives painted through vivid descriptions and anecdotes.

Time to ride horses

One of the many pleasures in low-maintenance farming is the flexibility and freedom to pursue the things we love to do. Of course, for me, that’s even better shared with the kids!

Our life is like a summer camp. At least, I think it is. We are currently situated on a wonderful 80 acre piece of land in Culpeper that starts on a minor bedrock ridge and slopes gently down towards the creek at the back of the property. There are two ponds and various pastures and woodland on which we raise a host of homestead animals and a growing commercial goat and hair sheep herd. There are generally numerous children here, in addition to ours. Friends of our children, 4-H club members, guests, and more routinely visit. You can learn more about our farm on our “About Us” page.

So. Who am I? I’m a graphic designer, photographer, architectural draftsman, educator, leader, educator, explorer, farmer, and mom. Quite the background, eh? In a recent podcast episode of “Stories of an Unschooling Family,”  fellow unschooler, friend and source of inspiration from down under, Sue Elvis brought my attention to a word that describes me and my life perfectly—mutlipontentialite. It also answers a lot of questions—and concerns—that I had. Basically, it is a person who has many pursuits and interests in life. It’s me. It is my children. And, it is okay. Genetic or learned would be a question for someone inclined to explore it further. I got it from my father through one of those routes. Yet, as I begin this next phase of my life and my latest “pursuit,” I find that crazy background allows me to make some interesting connections and to help young people in a creative way.

What is the next phase? Well, for the farm, it is to push further into the agri-tourism and education through more workshops, camps, and events, to offer more equine trail competitions, and to be involved in farm tours and other industry outreach. But, our BIG goal now is to push our offerings much further—to use the farm as a base to help teenagers to find a better way through the maze of education and careers. Our alternative high-school development has grown big enough for it’s own website and podcast that will be coming soon!

I hope you enjoy our very first podcast. We do have a lot to learn about podcasting, farming, educating and raising kids in a wholesome way and we hope you will follow along on our journey and learn with us!

Resources

About the Farm
Getting started in pigs

Offsite Resources

Stories of an Unschooling Family – excellent resource on unschooling and record keeping.
LOCAL STEW U – our farm-based high school website!
NOAA Ocean Explorer – Follow along with NOAA ocean research. There are lesson plans and learning activities that compliment each mission.


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