Opening a Farm School – learning in a natural environment
A farm school is a centre aimed at children of school age, such as Infant, Primary and Secondary Education, where the programmes offered are a set of experiences framed in the rural environment and in contact with nature, and where they train children in the critical sense of the use of natural resources and their preservation.
Everyday life makes us forget or overlook the origin of our food, especially in the case of children, who associate everything with supermarkets, grocery stores or convenience stores. However, in order not to forget the animals and all that we benefit from their existence, there is the option of opening a Farm School project and taking the children to spend a few days in the establishment, so that they enjoy learning everything about what farms mean in our very urban life. Keywords: farm animals, how to set up a farm school
Objective of Starting a Farm School
The purpose of forming a Farm School is to enable children to understand that food is of animal origin, as are certain materials used in clothing, such as wool and leather.
The children go to the Farm School in groups, either with their school or with a particular class they are taking. There is even the possibility that they will stay for several days if the establishment has enough space. This last option is ideal because of the realism to which it brings the children, since they will be able to see and do the tasks in real time, for example milking a cow at five in the morning.
At the same time, the official schools that the children attend, find it much easier to give the classes that correspond to subjects about which there are walks to do about it, since it is the way in which the knowledge is most fixed: getting involved and doing the activity.
Spending a few days at the farm does wonders for the children, who experience everything as an incredible adventure. So this Farm School venture has many ways to be exploited.
What does a child do on a Farm School?
Besides running and playing, children will witness and, in certain cases, make cheese, bread, wool processes and other such activities.
The owners of the Farm School, or those in charge of running the project, are responsible for organizing the activities in which the children will participate, while also ensuring that safety standards are strictly adhered to.
Requirements for starting a Farm School
A Farm School is a rural establishment with housing and, in addition, must be conditioned to receive the visit of children, so security is a major factor in their armed. As for your requirements, we have:
Land: a plot of land is needed to plant the crops.
Housing: it is the part of the house of the farm, there you live and cook.
Corrals: for each species there will be separate corrals from the other species. It is very important that they are well closed and secured for the time of the visit
Registration and Permits: register your School Farm as a company and as a rural enterprise. At the same time, request the permits for the children to attend the establishment.
The costs of setting up a School Farm
If you are going to set up a farm school you have to know that you will have to invest in a large piece of land, and you will also have to hire staff for planting and maintaining crops, as well as for breeding and protecting the animals. You may have to invest in obtaining some farm animals, the corrals, the feeding, the health of the animals, the safety and integrity of the children, the equipment, the publicity and marketing of the business.
Problems that can occur: One of the challenges of this business is that children can have fun learning and being in contact with the farm animals and green spaces of the farm school. Accidents or unforeseen events can occur if children are neglected and left to their own devices. In this case you can even face legal problems, in addition to the loss of credibility and money that any accident can cause.
Final recommendations: You need to make a previous annual planning that can be offered in advance so that the children’s visits to the farm school are guided, safe and pedagogical. Also, you need to have all the permits up to date, as well as health and accident insurance. Since you are the most interested in being the investor in this project, your presence in the farm spaces is indispensable at the beginning, while the business is being consolidated and all the personnel acquire the necessary expertise to attend to each role and task that is entrusted to them.