Welcome to the Hillside School Farm and Garden

Hillside School Farm and Garden

The Farm at Hillside

Hillside School was founded in 1901, when two sisters established a self-sustaining school for boys with The Farm at its core. Once used to support the livelihood of the school, The Farm now serves as a window into our food system as a diversified, organic practice working farm. The boys have the opportunity to learn a wide range of practical skills such as gardening, animal husbandry, carpentry, cooking, outdoor recreation and orientation, business planning, and beyond. Students also build interpersonal skills, compassion, and empathy in a unique, hands-on atmosphere that fosters and rewards hard work.

Hillside's mission to maximize the potential of every student in mind, body, and spirit is distinctly evident at The Farm. Through a carefully designed curriculum, boys are challenged to understand academic subjects in a new context. And as respect for the environment, sustainability, and ecological awareness are emphasized, students gain a broader perspective. The Farm fulfills Hillside's central obligation to develop multi-dimensional young men who are prepared to make an impact on the world around them.

A Fully Integrated Program

Classroom-to-Farm Learning

Each term, Hillside faculty members integrate The Farm into their class curricula. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to understand their subjects – math, science, history, language – in a unique, hands-on atmosphere. Students learn that ecology and agriculture connect to a variety of course topics and that guiding principles, including sustainability and respect for the environment, translate across subject matters.

Eco Team

One of Hillside’s most distinctive athletic offerings is the Eco Team which is a sports elective for boys during the fall and spring terms. Each afternoon, Eco Team members take part in farming operations while gaining essential agricultural skills. The Eco Team has the chance to engage with the environment through guided hikes and lessons on plant and tree identification. Nutrition, with an emphasis on the value of eating local and organic, is also woven into the Eco Team program.

The Immersion Program

Each Hillside student spends two consecutive mornings on The Farm during the fall and spring terms. Small groups participate in activities including animal care, gardening, work in the greenhouse, and harvesting produce to be used in the dining room. The Immersion Program ensures that all boys have the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the unique perspective and experience The Farm provides.

Meet the Farm Director

Yvonne Rynearson

As the new Farm Director and Agricultural Educator, Yvonne has been farming for nearly 10 years — 7 of those were spent running her own farm, restaurant distribution operation and catering company. Previous to that, she was a classically trained chef. Working with restaurants to meet chefs’ needs is a personal passion of hers.

Yvonne can be reached at (920) 366-3270 or YRynearson@hillsideschool.net