Saturday, July 13, 2024

ROUND THE BEND FARM – DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS

Educating people of all ages is central to RTB’s mission.  Our educational offerings allow us to connect and share with the community. The farm is a living laboratory – where the potential for experiential, hands-on learning, and discovery is limitless. We provide both school field trips and on-site workshops.

Explore our offerings, and work with us to create your own unique field trip!

Field Trip Information:

Field trips are full or half day experiences and can include (among other things):

1 hour farm tour

Woodland walk

Lunch/games

Curricular presentation/activities

Farm/nature journaling exercise

Garden work project(s)

Please take a moment to fill out our Field Trip Request Form to get the process started.

Cost:

RTB’s educational programming is based on a sliding scale to ensure that all students can experience the farm, regardless of economic means. All financial contributions are folded back into our educational programming budget, and any amount paid above the baseline per-student cost goes towards providing education and equitable access to others.

Full Day (4-6 hours)

> $15/studentSupports our scholarship program
$12 – $15/studentBaseline fee
$5 – $10/studentAdjusted fee
RTB

Half Day (2-3 hours)

> $12/studentSupports our scholarship program
$10 – $12/studentBaseline fee
$3 – $9/studentAdjusted fee
RTB

*If our funding levels would prevent you from being able to visit the farm, please let us know and we will accommodate.

*Educators and chaperones visit for free.

Field Trip Programs

Below are descriptions of the program offerings that you can choose to participate in.  If you have a specific curricular area in mind that is not described here, let us know, as there are many other possibilities.  Or, if you’re just looking to see the sights, visit the animals, and learn about what we do at the farm, you can choose our General Farm Visit program.

Animal Husbandry:

We keep and care for a variety of domesticated animals on the farm – cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, guardian dogs, barn cats and honeybees.  Come meet our animals up close and see them at work.  Learn about animal husbandry, rotational grazing, ruminant biology, and the important roles animals play in a regenerative farming system.  You’ll get all of this while experiencing the sights, sounds (and yeah, smells too!) of a vibrant, working farm.

Beekeeping:

Our bee team manages several hives that we inherited from the late Lucy Tabit, our friend and mentor beekeeper.  The bees play an important role in the overall farm ecosystem as pollinators, while producing honey, beeswax and other deliciously useful products for our community.  Visitors will get to see our bees in action (during warmer months), handle beekeeping equipment, and will learn about honeybee anatomy, roles and interactions in the hive, and pollination.  And (of course!), no honeybee field trip is complete without tasting a little of the sweet stuff.

Composting:

Composting systems are a critical element of regenerative farming. At RTB, we recognize that nature doesn’t produce waste and we try to mimic that as much as possible.  Join us to help feed garden scraps and clippings to our farm animals, and in turn, learn how we use manure from the animals to add fertility to the farm soil.   Help us make compost tea and learn how to use it in a garden.  See the workings of our composting toilets and learn how they help us conserve water and capture nutrients.  And, experience the fascinating world of vermiculture as you witness worms in action – accelerating the decomposition of food and garden scraps into valuable soil amendments.

Food Preparation & Processing:
We agree with Hippocrates that food is medicine. Understanding how food fuels our bodies and keeps us well is more relevant now than ever. Learning how to grow, prepare, and celebrate healthy food is a big part of what we do at RTB
.

When we think of processed foods, we probably picture plastic packages containing machine-produced bits of edible (barely!) foodstuff.  At RTB, we take great pride and enjoyment in the processing of real food, and use it to preserve and enhance the nutritional value of what we consume.  Learn the skills of curing meats or cheese making, or, practice the ancient art of fermentation (using the power of microbes and a variety of techniques, we make kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, yogurt, pickles, and kombucha, among other fermented foods).

Gardening & Organic Growing:
At RTB, we actively tend to herb and flower gardens, orchards, and perennial plantings. Whether growing food for the team or for local, underserved families (see our Manifest Love page), we are constantly partnering with plants.  Come learn about the various approaches we use to build healthy soils and to grow nutrient-dense and bioactive foods and medicine – from soil preparation and seed starting to harvest.  Take the grand garden tour where you’ll visit our gardens and greenhouses, learn about our new agroforestry plantings and see our permaculture systems in action. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands in the dirt as you share in our excitement about plants.

Health & Wellness:
It’s hard to have a positive impact on the world around us when we’re feeling tired, run-down, and generally unwell.  This is why health and wellness are of paramount importance here on the farm.  We’ll share our varied approaches to wellness and the core lifestyle choices that we make to create opportunities for  time outdoors, movement, community and healthy eating. You can also learn how we utilize medicinal herbs and mushrooms as adaptogens to combat stress and illness and to support overall health and wellbeing.

Herbalism & Botanical Medicine:
We grow and utilize a wide variety of medicinal plants to support the health needs of the animals on the farm (especially the upright, two legged variety!).  Come learn how we grow, harvest and process plants for medicine – from teas and tinctures to healing salves and balms.  We’ll guide you through the process as you make your own herbal medicine to take home with you.

Permaculture & Agroforestry:
Permaculture is a system of agricultural and design principles that center around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features in natural ecosystems. We try to model nature as much as possible and examples of this live in many permaculture systems across the farm.  While our approach to regenerative agriculture is non-dogmatic, incorporating many different strategies and philosophies, most of them are grounded (pun intended!) in permaculture.  Come learn more about permaculture at RTB and see what we’re doing to model nature in our relationship with the land, its features, an
d the larger ecosystem we’re a part of.

Restorative Living:
We recognize that it’s impossible to live on this planet without having an impact.  Knowing this, some might choose to try and minimize their negative impacts on the environment by recycling or driving electric vehicles…  But who’s to say that our impact has to be negative?  At RTB, we like to think about what we can do to create lasting, positive impacts on the environment.  We look beyond sustainability to restoration.  Come share in our learning about regenerative systems – from the pros and cons of various renewable energy sources, to the challenges and successes of composting, to farm-scale carbon sequestration.  We don’t have all the answers here folks, but we find meaning in examining our impacts, by trying new things, and by learning from our mistakes.  We look forwar
d to sharing our journey with you.

Preparing for your field trip:

At RTB, we strive to eliminate waste as much as possible, which means minimizing our trash.  We invite you to encourage students to bring reusable water bottles, and please take trash produced during your visit with you when you leave. Food scraps can be recycled (by feeding them to our pigs and chickens), or composted in one of our compost piles.

List of things to bring:

Bagged lunch

Reusable water bottle

Appropriate footwear/clothing for the season and for walking/working on the farm

Sunscreen

*If it is within your budget, and scheduling allows, we may be able to serve a farm-fresh, organic lunch or snack. Please inquire if you are interested.

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