A 400-acre Biodynamic farm in central Columbia County, NY

Classroom Connection (1 and 2-Day Trips)

Teachers as well as students attest to the benefits of learning through doing. Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center staff works with schools to develop custom-tailored agricultural experiences both on and off the farm. We welcome field trips to the farm, which typically include a tour and a chosen farm-based educational experience. Students will participate in real farm work catered to their age group. At Hawthorne Valley Farm, we work to learn and learn to grow. Learning Center staff can also travel to a school and bring the farm experience with them.

Sliding scale, cost varies; please inquire

For more information or to register please email us or call 518-672-7500 x 234

Sample Themes

A Very Dairy Day

After opening events, a tour of the farm is given, ending with a visit to the milking and loafing barns. A livestock farmer may be present for questions, and students can participate in barn chores, as well as feed and brush the cows or calves. Upon return to the Learning Center, students partake in the making of butter or cheese from fresh cow’s milk, which is incorporated into a snack. A guided tour of the farm’s creamery, where yogurt and cheese are made, rounds out the day, with “cow portraits” and drawings of the farm, if time allows.

We loved it! Our kids, who were incredibly reluctant to go on the trip, ended
up begging to stay longer and then it was the talk of the town for days. —
A teacher

From Fleece to Fabric

More than a century ago, wool production was an important and prevalent industry in our region. Participants tour the farm, learn about some of the hamlet’s history, and end up in the livestock yard. There we not only visit with the sheep but also take them for a walk out to their pasture. Back at the Learning Center, students examine and participate in the process of turning shorn fleece into usable fabrics, whether through felting or spinning and weaving.

From Sheaf to Loaf

In the late 1800s, Columbia County was the largest producer of rye in the entire country! This day explores the theme of grains and of how baked goods evolved. After a walking tour of the farm, students return to the Learning Center and participate in threshing, winnowing, grinding, and baking with rye or wheat that has been grown on our farm. After eating a freshly-baked snack, we tour our farm’s bakery and observe production on a larger scale. A grain identification game challenges us all!

Other possible themes:

● Papermaking in Columbia County
● The Taghkanic Basket Weavers of Columbia County
● Ice is Nice: A Winter Experience
● Springing Forward: Rebirth on the Farm
● Design a custom theme!