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Why a Farm?
One of the most significant parts of our school’s academic experience takes place at our award-winning farm in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. At the Farm, students learn invaluable lessons about community and interdependence, nature and the sustainable production of food, energy and fiber. Many alumni credit their time at the MCS Farm as the most important and eye-opening experience of their young lives.
Repeatedly during their time at MCS, students, together with their classroom teachers, take up residence at the Farm. They first visit the Farm in the spring of their 7-8s year. By 5th grade they spend three weeks at the Farm, one in each season of the school year. WATCH VIDEO: MCS on the Farm
At the Farm students delve deeply into the soil to produce the food they and other students will eat during the school year. They tend crops in the garden and in the greenhouse, make compost, gather sap for maple syrup, care for the chickens, cows, pigs and sheep, and learn to milk the cow.
Working together to make the Farm sustainable, the students learn to use the meat, milk, eggs and maple syrup they have helped produce to create the meals served at the Farm. They take part in providing energy for the Farm, monitoring our solar production of electricity and providing firewood for heat in our outbuildings. They study the process of turning our sheep’s wool into yarn and then into cloth. They explore the Farm’s fields, streams and forests, and consider the best measures for environmental conservation.
Sharing these hands-on learning activities while performing essential household and barn chores, the students come to function as a mutually reliant community, a relationship that informs their work together in the classroom.
VIDEO: MCS on the Farm
PHOTOS: Students learning at MCS Farm