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The Farm

One of the cornerstones of the developmentally-based education at Ohlone is the Ohlone Farm, which provides a place where children can interact with and learn about nature. A physical embodiment of Ohlone's Core Values, the Farm helps foster an awareness of the environment, the nurturing and caring of animals, cooperative learning, and respect for living organisms. Activities on the Farm help give children a sense of accomplishment, promote self-esteem, and allow for exploration and discovery in a peaceful, inviting, intellectually stimulating and safe environment.

Teachers Bill Overton and Jana Littlefield founded the Farm during the 1984-85 school year. The Farm is a unique facility that includes a vegetable garden, an orchard, a pumpkin patch, a native habitat with a pond, a greenhouse, a large gathering area that includes a stage, an animal area (which houses sheep, goats, and chickens), a greenhouse, a composting system, a gardening instructional area and an outdoor science classroom. The Farm offers teachers and children a wealth of opportunities for hands-on practice of learning objectives in the sciences, arts, mathematics and social studies. The curriculum is overseen by the Farm Vision Team. Classes come out on a weekly basis and are instructed by the farm staff. Parent volunteers help during the outdoor lessons.

The Farm owes its existence to the generous donations of resources and labor that are made by countless individuals throughout each year. Financially, the Farm relies entirely on private donations and project-specific grants. Farm produce and other products from the Farm are sold at an ongoing weekly fundraiser the Ohlone Farmer's Market. The animals are cared for by families who volunteer time in the evenings, on weekends and during holidays through the animal care program. Physically, the Farm relies on constant contributions of time, attention, foresight, care, good humor and elbow grease by members of the Ohlone community during Farm workdays.