The Working Farmer program is a learn by doing experience. As Working Farmers kids become agricultural juggernauts, powering every dimension of the growing process. Seeding, weeding, cultivating, harvesting, selling- they are hands on at every step. Working right alongside our expert growers, kids learn where their food comes from and how to grow it. Throughout the summer, this team develops the skills and the confidence to run the farm and have a blast while doing it. So get ready to roll up your sleeves and join us!
Changes in 2016! Morning sessions are the classic 5 days, while afternoon sessions have been reduced to 4 days.
Who: Ages 12 to 14
When: Weekly sessions run in two shifts. (A) Morning sessions run Monday through Friday. (B) Afternoon sessions run Monday through Thursday. There are no afternoon sessions on Fridays.
Times: (A) 8:30am - 12pm or (B) 1pm - 4:30pm.
Fee: (A): $280 for non-members, $230 for Members (B): $238 for non-members, $196 for Members
What does a typical day look like?
Every day starts with taking care of an animal. Everyone loves time with the creatures. They are fun to watch, hang out with, and observe. But they are also great teachers. Working Farmers learn to put the needs of others before their own, doing things for the animals that they might rather not. Cleaning out a mucky water bin. Cleaning a food dish. Getting some poop on their boots. By starting each day with the animals we affirm that we are here to work for others, not just ourselves.
On harvesting days Working Farmers don’t just gather beans and cut greens, they cultivate confidence. Harvesting is both a physical skill and a continuous exercise in judgement and decision making. Is this particular bean up to our standards? How about that kale leaf?. After hundreds or thousands of these micro-decisions, Working Farmers walk off the Farm with confidence in their ability to analyse and act.
So where is the fun? Every activity of the Working Farmer is interwoven with levity, banter, storytelling, and the satisfaction of doing a job well. But snacktime is where the camaraderie between teammates blossoms into a group of friends sharing a bite to eat. Often a farmer with a particularly large personality will tell a story or three and often they’ll all talk happily about whatever is on their minds. The one common theme is the laughter born out of shared experience. Working hard brings people together and those social ties are what keeps the good times good.
During their two weeks with the Working Farmers, everyone gets the chance to staff the Route 16 market stand and learn customer service, professional presentation, and how to make change by doing it all. For a few hours each week these kids are the general managers of a fruit and vegetable stand, handling everything from set up to tear down on their own. Some days are slow, some days are insane. They learn to take it in stride.
Note There will be a mandatory meeting for all Working Farmers on Tuesday, June 14th at 4:30pm.
Priority Registration for members with a membership of $100 or greater begins January 15th, and goes until March 15th.
Have questions? Email Jon@natickfarm.org