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This Is What Happens When A Kid Leaves Traditional Education



"Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. Not only was he home schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal..."


Kids gobble up farm-based education at charter and other schools 


"Located in a small farming community, the school faced closing before re-establishing itself as an agriculture-focused charter school and more than doubling enrollment. The school now attracts a steady stream of visitors from around the country who watch students learn through projects that range from selling eggs to showing pigs at the county fair. The farm curriculum, although still relatively unusual, has been replicated in other Kansas schools and proven successful in more urban environments, including Chicago and Philadelphia..."

"The Big Six agrochemical companies have turned the honeybee into a factory animal, a workhorse that cannot exist without antibiotics, and are using the term "Colony Collapse Disorder" to cover the poisoning of pollinators vital to agriculture..." 


Hawaii Bans GMO Biotech - Citizens Cheer in Excitement


"Hawaii is a unique place - not only because of its cultural and agricultural diversity, but because the politicians sometimes actually listen to the demands of the people. Fortunately, the mayor of the Big Island Hawaii, Billy Kenoi, has now banned biotech GMO from his island, and thousands of Hawaiians are cheering his decision to sign Bill 113, even though the agriculture industry largely opposed it. He can stand proud no matter what part of the islands he travels too, as this unprecedented move to keep the 'aina,' or land pure has been upheld..." 


School Garden and Garden Based Education Training


This spring, in partnership with Community GroundWorks of Madison, Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm will be hosting a series of school garden and garden based education trainings for teachers, as well as interested community members. Continuing Education Units available for early childhood educators.

Thursday, March 6, 6-8pm
In this free workshop, participants will discuss why youth gardening and garden-based education is important and will learn strategies to plan, design, and implement child-centered youth gardens for school, early childhood, and after-school sites. Participants will also review garden-based curriculum and share ideas for incorporating such lessons into the classroom. *** Only seven spots left for this workshop!

Tuesday, May 6, 6-8pm 
In this free follow-up workshop, participants will build on their knowledge of best practice youth garden and garden-based education planning and design with regard to program sustainability. Topics will include developing a mission and goals for your garden program, engaging your garden community, and planning for the future. Participants will share lessons learned and successes from their garden program and will hear about other youth garden programs across the state. Lessons and activities ideas will also be demonstrated in the Wellspring Education Garden!

While free, spots are limited. Please RSVP to or by calling (847) 946-5565

Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm
4382 Hickory Rd. West Bend, WI 53090  

About Homemeadow Song


Homemeadow Song is an initiative where participants are active in areas of land stewardship, gardening, animal husbandry, nutrition, education, artistic processes and cultural renewal inspired by anthroposophy. 




We currently provide a full-day program for home-schooled children and summer camps ages 6 - 12, internships with students from local universities studying the arts and sustainability.  We also offer weekly Steiner study session and related adult workshops.  




On March 8th we will be bringing Jeff Poppen, "The Barefoot Farmer" from Tennessee to present a day workshop for gardeners on cultivating healthy soil. This event is co-sponsored by South Western Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association. 



For more information, please visit



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cultivating collegiality, networking, and best practices in this emerging field
One place where there is still a culture of agriculture  
by Dana Burns 
Southland, New Zealand - The Winton A & P Show 
Rudolf Steiner's original Agriculture Course was presented exclusively to practicing farmers. 
"It ought to be clear to anyone that people have no right to talk about agriculture, including its social and organizational aspects, unless they have a sound basis in agriculture, and really know what it means to grow grain or potatoes or beets. Without this you cannot talk about the economic principles involved. These things have (to) be derived from real life and not merely from theoretical considerations." 

But where are these people that practice agriculture, the real farmers today? They are not so easy to find in America, for example, when only 952,000 ( 0.7% of the US working population) declared themselves to be in either fishing, farming or forestry as their primary profession in 2000. (Source: US Census)


Photos by Zuri Burns. Click the image to view a slideshow on our website.


Here in Southland, New Zealand, agriculture is woven into the lives of all ages of people from the very young to the very old to a degree that was not even present when I was a child in Colorado in the 1960s. There I used to attend the Larimer County Fair with my grandmother who often entered her famous pies in the pie contests. Farming at that time was already becoming more and more mechanized and monoculture and people were leaving the land in droves.


Each year in Southland almost all (even very small) towns have an annual A & P (Agricultural and Pastoral) Show. People from the community come together in healthy, community spirited, sportsman-like competition to showcase their year of work and pride in an agricultural field or craft. The pinnacle of the show competition is in the annual NZ Crossbred Lamb Shearing Championship. Shearers come from all over New Zealand to compete in 4 grades: Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Open.





The intricacies of this sport may be difficult to appreciate for those who have never tried to shear a sheep. When asked exactly what qualities it takes to be in the shearing competition, competition organizing committee member Robbie Watkinson said: "They are just exceptionally fit athletes. And very determined." Shearing demands a high degree of strength, speed, endurance, technique, finesse, and care of equipment. Technique is involved even in the minute details of how one handles the sheep so that they do not struggle in various positions. A fraction of an inch one way or another can make a huge difference. Finesse involves cutting the wool properly and not cutting the fine and delicate contours of the sheep while going at incredibly rapid speeds with razor-sharp, electrically powered clippers.


Featured Education Center: The Land Stewardship Program at Hartsbrook School   


by Nicki Robb

The Land Stewardship Program at the Hartsbrook School has, like the school itself, grown out of the very soil upon which this school is planted. More than 20 years ago, the fledgling program was slowly finding its way into the life and learning of our students, beginning as field trips to a local bio-dynamic farm (Brookfield Farm CSA) to join in a variety of seasonal planting and harvesting activities, then expanding to other area farms, patiently waiting for the opportunity where a full program could start to be realized at the school itself. Fast forward to today, with an almost full curriculum in place that encompasses the kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, supporting students as they work and learn about the many pressing issues that affect our relationship with the earth.


Even the name has changed over these years to reflect the nuanced differences in how we think of connecting with the earth. It has taken many long hours of discussion and debate for the committee responsible for the oversight of the agricultural work at Hartsbrook (The Land Stewardship Committee) to find the right name that encapsulates all that we bring to our children and community through this program. What is the right word, term or phrase to use when the intent is to provide our students the tools with which to become sensitive, informed young citizens who are cognizant of the complex issues that challenge a healthy relationship to our ability to feed and nourish ourselves? We recognize that true understanding arises from a true connection, and so for each student who cares for an animal at the Farmstead, or learns how to grow a vegetable and plant grains, or overcomes the "stinkiness" of the composting class to marvel at the process of transformation, looks into a hive of honeybees while slowly growing to understand how essential these tiny creatures are to our very health and well being. 




These students, regardless of what work they choose as their profession, will have come to understand the intrinsic value of knowing how to care for this earth so that we can in turn be nourished. It has become clear to us that we are educating our students to become stewards of the earth; this land, that does not actually belong to us but which we need to take responsibility for -- that is the true meaning of being a steward. And so, The Land Stewardship Program was given its name.
Artwork from Homemeadow Song  


by Vicki Mansoor

The corn chandelier is titled "Crib". Physically it is Hopi Blue and Oaxacan Green Maize crib hanging by copper wire threaded through sewing needles. One the most basic level it is a real solution to drying my corn harvest in a safe place, But, the materials, forms colors are all part of the multilayered intention of the work as well. The "Crib" work is paired with a lunar calendar constructed out of mammograms pinned to the wall with sewing needles. 




The work exists in linear time, waiting to be planted in the next appropriate cycle, both images reflect sustenance. And, it is archetypal; male and female and/or Madonna and Child.



This work was exhibited as one element of a lager installation titled "A Bundle of Sticks" by Peter Huttinger my husband and I as "Homemeadow Song" You can see more images from the exhibition on our website


The work was exhibited in an exhibition, Green Acres, Artists Farming Vacant Lots, Green Houses and Vacant Lots, curated by Sue Spaid. The show was exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and the Katzen Arts Center in Washington DC. 
For more information about Homemeadow Song, see left column of this newsletter. 



Farm-Based Educators Inspired by Anthroposophy (FBEIBA)


FBEIBA is a project of the Biodynamic Association