Katy Wolfe is a Meadowbrook parent who lives and farms in Jamestown, RI. Katy was recently accepted into the masters program for environmental education at Antioch University, NH. In this post she writes about her work and her hopes for Cottrell Farm.
My interest in farming began years ago with a trip to an alpaca farm to buy yarn. It was exhilarating to see how the yarn was made and to walk among the animals whose fleece it had come from. I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do. At the time I was an elementary assistant at a Montessori school in Illinois, and I talked with my students about where yarn comes from, and how it is made. I imagined what it would be like for children to experience the entire process of fiber arts from raising the animals and plants used for dyeing the yarn, all the way through to a finished piece of clothing or art. The seed for my vision of a teaching farm had been planted.
We currently farm cooperatively with another family, our friends Vivi Valentine and Hutch Hutchinson (also Meadowbrook parents) who own the 30-acre property where we live. Co-farming has enabled both our families to pursue other vocational and recreational interests and remain hands-on at the farm. We currently raise alpacas, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens, organically grown vegetables and flowers, and bees. Products offered for sale include livestock, yarn, finished woven and knitted products, eggs, honey, vegetables, flowers, and mushrooms. The farm is being developed as a teaching environment for local students, summer camps and private group tours, including fiber demonstrations, livestock science & management, and gardening. The pedagogical goal of our farm is to support children’s natural love of animals and the earth, and help them make connections between their lives and land and animal resources.