painting by Ella SimonAshwood Waldorf School has received a $1000 Agriculture Awareness grant from Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAIC) to support a partnership with Aldermere Farm in Rockport, Maine.

In the spirit of MAIC’s goal to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, Ashwood’s middle school students are participating in Aldermere’s Farm Hands program. Each week this fall, the teens visited the farm to work with the young Belted Galloway calves, learning to halter train, groom, and lead Aldermere’s famed “belties.” A second group of Ashwood students will participate in the program this spring.

“This has been a wonderful group for jumping right in, learning the skills, and implementing what they’ve learned,” said Aldermere Program Coordinator Sarah Post. “It’s fabulous how quickly they’ve been able to do everything, and they have such a tenderness with the animals.”

The work done by the students is a service to the Farm because it allows the calves to get use to being around people, and to be well tempered and manageable.

© 2012 Madrona Wienges

© 2012 Madrona Wienges

The eight-week program offers each student four weeks of hands on work with the calves and four weeks of drawing and painting en plein air. For the artisitic portion, students studied the anatomical structure of the cow in order to be able to accurately render their drawings. Ashwood Eighth Grader, Ella Simon described the process: “First we sketched the landscape. Next, we transferred our composition very lightly onto painting paper. Then we began to paint. We painted trees and the fields; some of us included a barbed-wire fence, and lastly we added the cows. Our class has enjoyed the time we spent at the farm and loved working there.”

Farm Hands Gallery