WILLITS, Calif. — At the School of Adaptive Agriculture we’re changing the way we think about farming. As Brazil’s former environment minister, Jose Lutzenberger, put it, “The modern farmer is only a tractor driver or a poison sprayer. He is only a tiny cog in an enormous and highly complicated techno-bureacratic structure that begins in the oilfields, goes through the whole chemical industry and the huge agribusiness industry – I’d rather call it the food-manipulating, denaturing and contaminating industry – and ends up in the supermarkets”. And small farmers are an endangered species, as Lutzenberger told Vandana Shiva, threatened “because the small farmer is the last free person in the world.” We breed and educate small farmers, because the industrial way of farming is collapsing of its own weight and because we need, small-scale, local, ecologically sensitive farming to feed the world and steward our lands, as it did for millennia.
The School’s Practicum Program is one tried and tested way in which we have educated students young and old in the practical skills and fundamental knowledge that it takes to produce food for one’s community. This year’s Practicum Program starts May 15th and runs through September 1st. Each week students have two days of immersive learning at working farms, two days of classroom learning, and one day of field trips to a diversity of farms, ranches, and related operations in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Lake counties. The Program is unique in offering exposure to all aspects of small-scale farming, from intensive market gardening to livestock raising, from the economics of the farm enterprise to the industrial arts vital to any farm. And we emphasize the importance of acquiring the ecological knowledge to steward the land, restore damaged watersheds, manage woodlands for fire safety and forest health, and regenerate degraded landscapes. The Practicum Program is a residential training program, set on beautiful Ridgewood Ranch, in the heart of Mendocino County, California. Students live, work, and eat together while pursuing a curriculum divided between hands-on experience on local farms with classes and weekly field trips.
For more information, visit: https://schoolofadaptiveagriculture.org/practicum-program/
–School of Adaptive Agriculture