We welcome youth of all backgrounds in this immersive, earth-based learning experience anchored in hands-on farm and forest skills, joyful nature connection, spiritual wisdom, and loving community.
“Both of my kids have spent five years with Joe in Farm & Forest School. Through all weather, all seasons, they are more excited to attend every year. The content is wonderful, but what we have gained the most is a sense of their own ability to be in the world. They have real, tangible challenges and group interactions that are structured and at the same time very organic. They are solving their own problems and building their confidence. Farm & Forest School has been priceless!”
note: if two or more sessions are cancelled for any reason, additional date(s) will be added to the end of the season.
Drawing on indigenous educational wisdom, Farm & Forest School trains students in a plethora of practical skills and scientific knowledge while building essential character traits like compassion, alert awareness, gratitude, and deep listening.
And the kids have so much fun they don’t even realize how much they’re learning! Collaborative group challenges followed by artfully guided debrief activities build compassionate communication and leadership skills. Farm projects encompass tending perennial and annual plants, animal care, mushroom cultivation, natural building, cooking, soap-making, herbal medicine and more. Inspiring or thought-provoking articles or short videos may be shared on a wide range of topics from local food systems to innovative compost solutions to global initiatives in eco-social entrepreneurship. Time for lunch and supervised free play are built in to the schedule.
Our 100% outdoor, COVID-safe program, will follow guidelines from the local health department, CDC and the Maryland Dept of Health; as always, the health and safety of our participants and families remains our top priority! There is a pre-screening of all staff and participants upon arrival, a link will be sent to you by the Farm & Forest Director. We recommend that parents and legal guardians of high-risk students consult with their child’s medical provider to assess their risk and determine if attendance is acceptable. We have hand washing stations at central locations and have hand-sanitizing products readily available and easily accessible for all participants and staff. All staff have completed comprehensive training and are Knowledgeable of CDC protocols and safety procedures. For in-depth information on our safety protocols, please visit the Health and Safety page. The mask policy will be determined by our consulting doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Please note that NO sick participant or staff member may attend our programs.
Joe has been teaching nature connection since 1997 and has made it his life’s work to learn from the indigenous peoples of the earth and share the old ways with as many people as possible. During that time, he has mentored thousands of kids and helped design the curriculum for several wilderness schools and is a founding member of the nonprofit Ancestral Knowledge.
Alexa is committed to growing a culture of care as an educator and land steward. Her background is in outdoor & STEAM education, program administration, and community health work. She is passionate about connecting people with the land and each other.
Before coming to Pearlstone, Steph spent years traveling, tending the Land & studying various traditions and ways of healing. As an educator, she finds joy in weaving Cultural Wisdom and Nature-based education together in a way that allows her students tap into a greater sense of wonder, confidence, play, and sacred purpose.