Home Winds Farm
Home Winds is a bucolic working farm that serves as a vibrant and engaging outdoor classroom.
With the farm and garden as backdrops, teachers find abundant ways to challenge students to think critically about the environment and the relationship between the school and the larger community.
Experiential learning on animal husbandry, sustainability, farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship engage students with authentic, hands-on real-life experiences.
Enjoy the latest issue of the STREAMS newsletter with updates on Home Winds Farm as well as the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade science curriculum.
STREAMS, under the guidance of program coordinator Montana Vasquez-Grinnell, is a yearlong course where Lower and Middle School students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, using Home Winds Farm, meet for a weekly period to study concepts and strategies associated with sustainability. The natural features of our 208-acre campus invite STREAMS students to probe the world around them, developing an awareness and understanding of the interconnectedness of environment, culture, and society. All concepts covered in STREAMS serve as an extension to units taught in science classes.
Education @ Home Winds
Teaching & Learning – From biodiversity studies, to en plein air painting, opportunities for teaching and learning at Home Winds Farm are limitless.
Stewardship & Sustainability – Fresh eggs, ripe apples, culinary herbs, and honeybee apiaries bring nature’s best to the table and help support farm operations.
Arts, Athletics, & Activities – On any given day, the farm could be hosting fly fishing, hiking, Spring Unit Programs, art exhibits, class visits, and events.
Outdoor Features & Facilities – Barns and gardens, streams and ponds, pastures and open spaces come together in completing this magnificent farm.
In 2015, the Gill St. Bernard’s School Board of Trustees was able to reacquire a large piece of property contiguous to the main campus through a combination of purchase and gift.
Throughout the process, the trustees and Head of School were guided by the vision of Home Winds as a working farm; one that ultimately would be self-sustaining.
Its primary purposes were further defined as:
- To support and enrich the academic programs of GSB;
- To strengthen the school community through the hosting of special events and other functions;
- To house the school’s Operations Department and equipment; and
- To generate revenues through farming and raising livestock that would offset its operating expenses.
All animals cared for on the farm fulfill a vital role in its sustainable mission. Black Angus and Hereford beef cattle are raised to be sold for processing at maturity. All cattle are pasture raised and grass fed, meaning they are out on the pasture 24/365. A rotational grazing system is used so the cattle are always on fresh-growing pasture.
The animals have access to water and shade, they are vaccinated to prevent diseases, with no antibiotics or hormones used to treat the herd.
Home Winds Farm fully supports the humane treatment of our livestock, and those intended for processing are transported to a USDA Food and Safety inspected facility for a humane death, which requires an animal to be completely sedated, insensible to pain, and without distress.
Since its early beginnings, Gill St. Bernard’s School maintained a connection to the land and farming. We honor this tradition and are continuing this connection to our past in creating a sustainable working farm, called Home Winds.
As designed, Home Winds Farm is serving as a true outdoor classroom where students explore and learn.
With the farm and garden as backdrops, teachers challenge students to think about the environment and the relationship between the school and the larger community. Experiential learning at engages students with topics such as animal husbandry, sustainability, farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship.
The bucolic setting makes Home Winds Farm a perfect location for hosting special events, such as receptions, meetings, planning sessions, and celebratory functions – all serving to bring the community closer together. It features main house, several agricultural buildings, extensive pastureland, a large stocked pond, two apple orchards, a two-acre garden, and provides a perfect place for our Operations Department and equipment.
Home Winds Farm
Home Winds Farm adds unique, innovative value to Gill St. Bernard’s School as a sustainable working farm, meeting facility and outdoor education/recreation space. Accordingly, the Home Winds Farm fully supports the humane treatment of our livestock including, but not limited to cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. All of the animals cared for on Home Winds Farm fulfill a vital role in its sustainable mission. Those intended for processing are transported to a USDA Food and Safety inspected facility for a humane death as ensured by the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1958. This law requires an animal to be completely sedated, insensible to pain, and without distress. It is the Farm Manager’s mandated responsibility to determine the optimal, appropriate and safe number of livestock cared for, in order to ensure the sustainability of Home Winds Farm.