Welcome to the Hillside School Farm and Garden
The farm has been providing a unique learning experience for students since Hillside was founded in 1901. From the early days, when income from farming and livestock helped keep the School viable, to the present, when the Farm provides a living classroom for all students, Hillside's Farm has delivered a singular opportunity for thousands of young men. Exploring the interconnectedness of a farm and its environment, digging in a sustainable garden, knowing and being known by the animals, and gaining an appreciation for hard work and compassion has greatly enhanced each student's own awareness and self-esteem.
Thanks to the on-campus working farm and greenhouse, Hillside students develop a keen awareness of and appreciation for the importance of protecting our natural environment.
Through activities central to farming and sustainability such as collecting eggs, milking cows, tending to crops and working in the greenhouse, students experience the confidence-building benefits of working in teams to set goals and tackle problems. The integration of the Hillside Farm into each grade level's core curriculum allows all students the opportunity to learn in the context of this unique campus resource.
Want to learn more about the Farm? Check out the Hillside School Farm Facebook page.
The Eco Team, led by the Farm Director, offers the boys an even deeper connection with the Farm and the animals, and tends to inspire great passion among its members. The only year-round sport, Eco Team offers a unique blend of hard work, responsibilities and joy for the boys. They feed and care for the animals, distributing grain and hay, filling water buckets, mucking stalls, washing and grooming. They also help with chores around the farm, such as planting, harvesting, digging, cleaning up, building trenches and much more. Seems like a lot of work, and it is – but in return, the boys get to know and be known by the animals, see babies born and nurtured, cuddle rabbits, baby goats and chicks, and gain a great respect for animals and the environment. Hard work, compassion, respect, fun – a product and microcosm of Hillside.
Farm Immersion Program
All students spend two consecutive days at the Farm during the fall and spring terms for class periods one through four (roughly three hours) in place of scheduled classes. These small groups participate in the morning feeding chores of all the animals while learning about each animal's anatomy and physiology, impact on the farm and environment, and utilization by people across the globe. The students work on seasonal projects in the garden and greenhouse and discuss the importance of caring for crops and the environment. The Farm Director leads conversations on how people's actions around the world impact what and how we eat. The group also visits various aquaponic configurations, where the boys see the unique symbiosis between animals and plants, and compost bins. The students finish up each morning by preparing a healthy seasonal snack from food grown at least in part in the garden or farm yard.