Middle School Students Experience an Alternative Way of Farming
As part of their Environmental and Sustainability Studies course and Farm to School Program, Middle School students visited Groundswell Refarmative, a farm near Hopewell that practices regenerative farming.
The farmers believe that they can bring farm animals, fruits, vegetables, and other indigenous plants together to co-exist and thrive, just as Mother Nature intended. In doing so, they improve the health and biodiversity of the soil, which is the key ingredient to growing farm fresh, resilient, and healthy food.
The students were able to gain insight into this alternative form of farming through a guided tour by Dolph Guerds, the Farm Manager. In regenerative farming, animals have a key part to play in managing the ecosystem and ensuring soil quality. This meant lots of animals for the students to view and pet – including several large but very friendly dogs, pigs and cute piglets, goats, horses, and a cow.
Composting is also key and the farm has a thriving composting business using food scraps from nearby businesses, schools, as well as private residences. The students got a real insight into how farmers have to use every income stream possible to ensure success and how the farm hopes to grow over the coming years.
Many believe that regenerative farming is much better for the environment than conventional farming. But can they make it work? We hope that Princeton Montessori students will return every year to see how the farm has grown and that Groundswell Refarmative sets an example of how farms can produce good food and benefit the environment.