Whole Farm Planning
History & Mission
We operated a beginning sheep & goat farm in Orange/Culpeper as well as a productive homestead for over 5 years. In January of 2018, we moved our operations to a 40 acre parcel in Charles City County last year with a twofold goal:
- To re-establish our farm in RVA to serve as a base for an alternative, farm-based school program.
- To design & establish sustainable conservation and stewardship practices into our operations as well as generate fruit and produce using sustainable permaculture methodology.
We primarily have sheep and market goats, some dairy goats, horses, hogs, poultry, and rabbits. We intend to expand our operations to include produce, fruits & berries, and nuts in permaculture beds, aquaponics, hoop house and more. First, we need to get some animal systems in place.
This property has a pond, springs, a stream and a wetland area. There are no animal systems in place. There is a barn with an attached large large chicken coop, but the barn is at the bottom of a steep grade in an area that collects water run off. It turns out to be a very poor location for the livestock shelter.
The land mostly presents a clean slate with which to completely design a sustainable farm. Our plan is to work with local organizations such as Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach (VSU SFO), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the local Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to develop a plan for the farm that allows biological, sustainable farming and protects the watersheds.
Mixing youth, newbies and experienced professionals
Both LSUHS and local high school homeschool students are invited to participate in the design/planning process. Students will gain invaluable insight and experience while designing a farm from scratch with a mind towards conservation and sustainability.
We will begin this process by creating a topographical model of the farm and using that along with topographical charts to design the whole set up. This initial activity will be presented as a topo model and planning “workshop” here on our farm for our high school students as well as farmers who may be interested in the process. Folks experienced in this type of planning will be invited to work with us and get us off on the right foot.
Richmond Times Dispatch - "When a Farm is Your Classroom"
Goochland Gazette - "Local Farm School Making Move to Charles City"
Cheryl Tan Media Podcast 49: [Strategy] Re-engage Your Tribe with Resi Connell
Richmond Magazine – Private School Report 2017
NBC12 – Farm-based high school offers alternative for students
Goochland Gazette - "A new view of school"
Educators Challenged to Increase Interest in Agriculture