Throughout the year, all students have opportunities to work in different morning and afternoon vocational placements.
We offer vocational crews in:
- Biodynamic/organic farming and gardening
- Land maintenance
Biodynamic farming and gardening
Students and coworkers at Beaver Farm work together to raise animals and cultivate vegetables for both campuses of Camphill Special School. Tending to livestock is a full-time job, and requires the dedication of all our our students and coworkers. From mucking out the barn, feeding the animals, to collecting and washing eggs twice a day, the barn and surrounding fields and gardens are at the center of our seasonal life here at Beaver Farm. Currently, Beaver Farm produces all the beef, pork, chicken, and eggs needed by Camphill Special School. Beaver Farm also produces spelt grain, an ancient form of wheat, which is milled and used for baking on campus, as well as sold to artisan bakeries along the east coast. In addition to livestock, the farm also raises sheep for wool, which is cleaned and spun for use in our homes.
Our vegetable garden works year-round, growing a wide variety of vegetables from leeks, potatoes, spinach, garlic, herbs, and much more. Many of the herbs grown on campus are further dried and processed to be used in our homes as seasonings. The garden also operates a greenhouse for tomatoes, salad greens, and sprouts. Harvested each the morning, large bowls of wholesome, organic salad greens grace our lunch tables every day thanks to the hard work of our vegetable gardeners!
The cooking crew at Beaver Farm has a high-stakes job: to cook a lunch for the fifty or so members of our community every day. Provided with the freshly harvested organic vegetables and biodynamically-raised meat from our garden and farm, the cooking crew transforms these raw ingredients into nutritious and seasonal lunches which we are all able to enjoy. The cooking crew provides an opportunity for students to learn a variety of skills, from cleaning and chopping vegetables, measuring and mixing ingredients, dishwashing and compost, not to mention great time management to have lunch ready for a room of hungry Beaver Farmers! The kitchen crew is also able to explore the nutritional aspect of our cooking, using only organic ingredients and accommodating special diets.
Our estate crew manages the property which lies between the particular domains of the garden and farm. From maintaining flower beds, harvesting apples, mowing, trail maintenance, native plant cultivation, to functional farm construction, the estate crew works to beautify and sustain the common and forested lands of Beaver Farm.
Housed across French Creek at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, our woodshop produces high quality furniture and household objects for use at Camphill Special School. Here at Beaver Farm we take the spirit of farm-to-table seriously, as the wood used to produce many tables and benches on campus in taken from our own property! Students and coworkers in the woodshop follow strict safety guidelines, learning to transform raw timber into beautifully-crafted pieces using a combination of machinery and hand tools.
The pottery crew at Beaver Farm produces bowls, framed mosaics, and tiles which adorn our homes at Beaver Farm. Recently, the pottery produced 3,000 tiles for Beaver Run’s new Early Learning Center! Using a variety of techniques, including slab rolling, mold making, wheel throwing, and glazing, the pottery provides a space for students’ creative artistic expression partnered with focussed project-planning and execution.
Baking is an important part of the home life in all houses at Camphill Special School, and here at Beaver Farm we’ve expanded that opportunity to a full vocational crew. The baking crew prepares birthday cakes, granola, buns, as well as doughs which can be used by houses and the vocational cooking crew. The baking crew utilizes Beaver Farm’s own spelt grain and eggs, as well as milk from Kimberton Hills and yogurts and cream from our neigbors at Seven Stars Farm. Careful measuring and close attention to timing and ratios are extremely important in baking, and our students learn these skills to produce delicious baked goods.
Cleaning may not seem to be a glamorous job on the surface, but the skills acquired through this endless task are endless in themselves! Students and coworkers in our vocational cleaning crew maintain the Sarah Jane Herman Educational Center, our primary community hall. Students learn vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, washing windows and walls, laundry, bathroom cleaning, and organizational skills which are vital in keeping our environment clean and beautiful. The skills learned in this crew easily and immediately transfer to maintaining one’s own room, home, or workspace, and as such provide a wonderful opportunity for students beginning their journey into adulthood.