Better Farm’s Sustainability Education Program is a hands-on immersive, certification course in sustainability initiatives.
Better Farm's Sustainability Education Program is a certification course running in one- to three-month intervals. Those attending receive daily assignments and chores all related to sustainability initiatives and organic farming, as well as the opportunity to design and implement projects on their own. Upon completion of all units and responsibilities, participants will receive a certificate from Better Farm. College students may additionally receive course credit for completion of Better Farm's Sustainability Education Program.
Instead of a traditional working farm with acres upon acres of one or a few different crops, Better Farm has several gardens demonstrating different styles of gardening and farming. These gardens demonstrate the need for diversity of crops instead of monocultures. Better Farm equips students with a variety of solutions to real-world agricultural issues, including small spaces, temperamental soils, pests, and climate change. The aquaponics, hydroponics, layered gardens, fruit orchard, and forests on the property are extremely varied so students coming from all over the world will learn practical tools that can be applied back home, no matter the setting.
Individuals are immersed from day one in the local culture while working alongside other residents at Better Farm and in the Redwood community. Also staying at Better Farm are staff members, artists visiting through the betterArts Residency Program, and overnight lodgers. Individuals should be prepared to take on solo work as well as group efforts; ranging from mundane tasks to unusual, exciting projects.
Many sustainability specialists visit Better Farm throughout the year to offer mentoring and guidance. Students additionally have the option of taking any workshops and participating in any excursions or field trips scheduled during their time at Better Farm at no additional cost to them.
Students live communally in a bunk house on the property.
Amenities: WiFi, landline phone, all linens and towels, parking, kayaks, canoe, laundry access, bicycles, on-site library, shared computer, trail riding on horses, printer and sauna.
Daily Schedule: Monday through Friday: 9-11:30 a.m. garden work, 11:30-1 p.m. lunch break, 1-3 p.m. afternoon projects
Explanation Of Schedule: We work in rotating early morning shifts to feed and water the animals (horses, alpacas, chickens, fish, ducks, and pig). Breakfast is from 7:30-8:45 a.m. A regular day begins at 9 with time in the garden (stocking CSAs, weeding, planting, harvesting, hydroponics or aquaponics, working on pest control, mulching, landscaping, etc.). There is a midday break for lunch / rest from 11:30-1; then an afternoon circuit from 1-3 p.m. for projects. The afternoon project varies from day to day, and can include taught lessons (i.e. in woodworking, construction, rainwater catchment, fencing, foraging for edible wild plants, or something arts-related), group work (planting trees, cleaning out chicken coops), assigned readings, blog-writing/field notes, or independent study. Instructors rotate throughout the week among Better Farm staff.
Program Length – 1-3 Months
Program Term – Year-Round
Registration Deadline – Rolling
Cost – $650/month
- Small-Scale Organic Farming
- Greenhouses/4-Season Farming
- Alternative Building and Energy
- Animal Husbandry
- Rainwater Collection
- Greywater Filtration
- Aquaponics, Hydroponics
- Community Outreach
- Water Quality Studies
- Outdoor Survival
- Radio Broadcasting
- Horseback Riding
- Drive-In Movies
- Boating and Sailing
- Firemen's Field Days
- Pirate's Week
- Blues in the Bay
Because of the personalized nature of our small program and limited space, all registration fees are non-refundable. If space allows, we are occasionally allowed to give credit for future use of the program.