One of the most treasured elements of the Sacramento Waldorf School campus is its three-and-a-half acre farm, a peaceful retreat overlooking the San Juan Rapids of the American River. Our mixed-use working farm was established using biodynamic principles and has several animals (including a cow, many sheep, a llama, pigs, dog, cats, ducks, and chickens), vegetables and fruits, flowers and a native plant garden, all of which are overseen by our resident farmer, Stephen Payne – known to our students as “Farmer Steve” – and tended to by our students.
The farm is integral to the curriculum of our entire school. From taking walks to the farm in the Parent/Child program and Kindergarten, to learning about all stages in the food chain – planting, harvesting, cooking, composting – in third grade, to actively caring for the farm animals in fourth grade, to selling the farm produce to the community in sixth grade, students throughout the lower school are intimately involved with the farm and the cycles of nature. Our high school students gain a look into their own futures as they use similar foresight in caring for the oldest plants on the farm. Their work includes preparing cuttings from the fruit trees and grape vines to develop into nursery stock.
In an era when children are becoming less and less engaged with the natural environment, our farm is indeed a peaceful haven and a jewel at the heart of our campus’s community life. The farm is yet another aspect of our school’s commitment to nurturing our students through nature.