Essex Farm has been providing food year round for the Essex community since Mark and Kristin Kimball founded it in 2003. Last year, Mark realized that he has trained lots of farmers and it would be great to formalize this into a school. He got gathered an advisory board, and together they have formed Essex Farm Institute. Still somewhat in the planning stages this venture has grand plans.
The Essex Farm Institute’s Founding Document begins with the school’s mission statement:
Essex Farm Institute is an agricultural education and research institution that aims to redefine sustainable farming. Our mission is to train farmers to build resilient, diversified farms that are economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally beneficial. We envision the Champlain Valley as the birthplace of a new era of diversified agriculture.
We are dedicated to transforming the methods and scope of farming to include economic, social and environmental measures. We strive to redefine farming as providing all human need from the power of the sun. We envision a future where farms power themselves, their communities and the world.
The Institute envisions a four-year program that will combine intensive classroom learning with fieldwork and hands-on training. The curriculum will include arts and humanities as well as the trades and sciences.
The Institute will also develop an R&D Department that will be dedicated to discovering and testing the best plants, animals, tools and techniques for a diversified farm that will have sustainability and resilience. All research will have an emphasis on systems, people, tools and soils that perform multiple functions.
This summer, Essex Farm will hold a series of workshops as a pilot program and hopes to matriculate their first students in September 2014. The Institute operates as a non-profit with fiscal sponsorship through Open Space Institute’s Citizen Action Program.
Keep up to date with the farm itself at Kristin Kimball’s Essex Farm Blog.
- Essex Farm: Mad Transplanting (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Hustle (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- La Mia Tote Giveaway (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex, NY: Fourth of July 2013 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)