It’s tough for America’s small farmer to be financially successful. They are confronted by the power and resources of corporate farms that control everything from the design of seeds to the distribution of food. So, small-scale farmers must solve their financial puzzles by diversifying crops and catering to local communities by providing real food. They must find customers who want higher quality food without contaminants or genetic manipulation, and who are willing to pay the real cost for real food. What’s more, small farms are well-served by helping re-educate the public as to what real food means.
The Stone Spirit Farm is an integrated eco-farming, educational center, that calls on artful living and the aesthetics of nature as its sources. Promoting a diversified solution to sustainable food production, it provides educational opportunities to those who wish to learn self-sufficiency from an aesthetic perspective. The community of Stone Spirit Farm dedicates its life’s work to learning; learning eco-agriculture, principles of sustainability, aesthetic influences on a whole life, animal husbandry, garden farming, life skills, the art of spiritual life and more.
Perhaps what’s most important is the nature of farming itself, and the self-reliance that underlies successful operations. What is important in the lives of the non-farming community is far afield from the daily events of farming. This is especially true in the case of young people living in the complexity of a contemporary society. Farm living encourages individuals to find inner connections, and to consider their responsibility to their family and community. Thus, SSF’s integrated farming is dedicated to sustainable farming, collaborative personal development and development of cultural values underlying both. It is a landscape for quality life in a experiential learning venue. We consider farming to be the foundation of wholesome ways of living. Therefore, all forms of aesthetic expression are integrated into our daily patterns by teachers and performers who understand the dynamic of self-sufficiency and self-expression, as these are integrated in the evolution of the whole person.*
* Farm-based education is among the most effective and promising forms of environmental, experiential, and place-based education because of the innate ability in all people to connect to farms.
Excerpt From The Farm Based Education Network ( www.farmbasededucation.org )