Farm life education: Growing informed

January 2015 Posted in Community
Adam McKinley, manager of GeerCrest Farm, and friends.

Adam McKinley, manager of GeerCrest Farm, and friends.

By Melissa Wagoner

GeerCrest Farm and Historical Society is bringing farming to life for hundreds of children every year through its Farm Life Experience Programs.

“We’re not trying to make farmers, we’re trying to make informed engaged individuals,” Adam McKinley, the manager of GeerCrest Farm and Historical Society, said.

McKinley, with the help of farm owners Erika and Jim Toler, offer programs ranging from a day-long field trip to a six-week young adult immersion program with the hopes of full-time youth education programs to come.

“We’re a small historic homestead that’s focused on providing farm life experience to children and families,” McKinley said.

GeerCrest Farm
12390 Sunnyview Road NE, Salem
503-873-3406
www.geercrest.org
Facebook: GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society

The farm’s programs focus on developing a connection to nature while supporting interests and capabilities through farm and household chores, meal preparation and caring for the livestock and garden.

“Our long term goals are to have a fully functional homestead farm that is a living classroom and a really vibrant mentor space for adolescents,” McKinley said.

Though many of the educational opportunities at GeerCrest were created with children in mind there are also family and community events and even work retreats.

The goats of GeerCrest Farm are a staple of the 167-year old homestead and its agrarian culture education curriculum.

The goats of GeerCrest Farm are a staple of the 167-year old homestead and its agrarian culture education curriculum.

“We’re creating a community supported farm project and families are welcome to be involved in seasonal celebrations and community potlucks,” McKinley said.

GeerCrest also allows day and overnight rentals of both the indoor and outdoor spaces and tent camping for those who want to experience the farm for more than a day.

Running an educational farm requires a lot of time and effort and GeerCrest is currently looking for interns and volunteer staff. The farm, which is classified as a nonprofit, is also looking for board members including key administrative positions.

“We’ve never really had a board that could step into officer positions,” McKinley said.

Those positions as well as supporting board member roles are open to volunteers looking to take an active role in the promotion and development of the farm life experience program. The positions will include attendance at a monthly meeting and a few hours of administrative work each week.

“This is a wonderful way that people can support the farm,” McKinley said.


monster

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.