Hawthorne Valley Farm

Join us in the Hudson Valley region of New York for a week of farming, learning and building community, with a focus on land access and food justice. This week-long farm experience is part of the Climate Farm School learning program.

About the farm

The property

Hawthorne Valley Farm is a non-profit farm with a variety of educational and farming activities onsite. The farm hosts a K-12 Waldorf school onsite, as well as farmer training programs, a farm store, art center, and a farmscape ecology program. The farm offers a dairy and meat products, and is a great example of a small-scale organic dairy, an increasingly rare farming business threatened by farm consolidation and industrialized farming. 

 

The Hudson Valley course is a collaboration of host farms coming together to offer an enriching and diversified farm learning experience.  The course features visits to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Stone House Grains, and Arthur’s Point Farm. 

Farm team

Participants will learn from Spencer Fenniman, Farming Director, as well as various members of the vegetable, dairy, and farmscape ecology teams. Spencer brings deep knowledge of organic and biodynamic farming practices, and will share a holistic view of the operations taking places on the land as well as the land’s history dating back to pre-colonial times. 

Glimpses from the farm

Hands-on activities

Prepare to get your hands dirty with a wide range of activities offered at the farm.

Farming and forestry

Food and cooking

Pricing and expected commitment

US $2400 – $3500

*Pricing varies based on lodging. For this course, the range is $2400-3500. Exact details are provided in the application form and follow up communication to applicants.

Cohort starting Jul 15, 2024

Farm dates: Aug 4-10

Cohort starting Sep 2, 2024

Farm dates: Sep 22-28

Hear from Climate Farm School fellows

Jamilla Jones

"This is the way to do it for anyone who wants to learn about Farming and Climate because this isn't a boutique experience. Instead, the time spent with farmers shows the real side of farming and how weather and climate affect the farms and farmers. In addition, Ryan and Laney were excellent facilitators who balanced educating the group with listening and learning."

Assistant Principal in Holyoke at MA school system
Jake Gong

"The Climate Farm School was an amazing, life-changing experience! Based on what I learned, I'm building new relationships with my local farmers, food systems, and policy. Also, my fellow classmates were diverse and an incredible set of voices that I loved talking with. We became very close."

Chief of Staff at ex-Bain
Evan Harris

"If you have never purchased a big ticket course before, then you are in the exact same boat that I was in before attending this course. I am only two days out of the course, and the context that I have been able to spin up from the massive value I derived out of the on site week in the Hudson Valley has already proven its worth. I cannot wait to see the changes that I am able to create in sustainable agriculture as a result of this course."

Starting a farm in Maryland, USA
Elena Westbrook

"The course was perfectly designed with initial content and information leading up to the immersive farm stay. I felt informed and inspired while meeting with a diversity of farmers with an array of considerations in regenerative agriculture. I left the farm week feeling inspired and energized. The group in the Hudson Valley was very diverse from different cultural and professional backgrounds. Incredible experience all around!!"

Seattle, WA

Accommodation and other FAQs

Participants will stay down the road from Hawthorne Valley Farm at a property owned by farm on Schnackenberg Road. The house is on a 60 acre property with views of the Catskills and animal grazing for a small percentage of the cow dairy herd. There are five bedrooms (some shared) and 3 full baths in the house, with ample room for tent camping in the yard around the house. The house has a large open kitchen perfect for group cooking demonstrations and meal preparation. There are various outbuildings and a barn for gathering and afternoon discussion sessions.

Camping is available for a reduced course price, and campers can either bring their own tent and camping gear or request camping gear be provided by the course team (limited number of tents and sleeping set ups will be available onsite).

The theme for this course is farmland access and food justice. We will discuss with guest speakers and in group discussions strategies for building a local climate resilient food ecosystem that centers principles of equity and diversity.

The weather in the Hudson Valley region is highly seasonal, and can be very hot and humid in the summer months. Rain is possible any time of year, and thunderstorms can happen in summer. Plan accordingly and bring sun protection, breathable layers, rain gear, and warm clothes for chilly evenings! In the fall, perhaps the most beautiful time to be in the area, bring your binos for taking in the beauty of the changing leaf color.

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