The Woolman Educational Garden

About Us

The Woolman Educational Garden is small but mighty! Our one-acre garden grows a vast variety of annuals and perennials, and over the years we have built our operations to include a greenhouse, hoophouse, vermiculture system, medicinal herb garden and forest garden. Our sixty year old orchard is home to apple, plum and pear trees, and the occasional flock of sheep. 

The garden and orchard are central to our Farm to Table program at Woolman. We consider the Woolman Garden to have four primary, interrelated components: education, market, cooperation with natural systems, and direct action. All of these aspects are woven together to create a rich, interdisciplinary and interactive grounds for curiosity, discovery, growth and connection. 

We offer a Farm to Table internship program that runs in tandem with the Community internship. In addition, we have a farm apprenticeship that goes for the duration of the growing season, from February to November. For more information on our internship program or apprenticeship, check out our Internship tab.

Beyond the semester school program, the garden works to foster relationships with local schools and restaurants in the greater Nevada City & Grass Valley area, the Quaker community, our CSA members and Camp Woolman. We love visitors and are always excited to collaborate with enthusiastic, passionate folks! 

Education

Farm to Table Class

Students of the Woolman Semester take a Farm to Table class that emphasizes hands on learning both in the garden and the kitchen. Farm to table seeks to build into the program, and thus into the experience of each student, an opportunity to celebrate food stories, contemplate our participation in the food system, and celebrate the complexity and joy of growing, cooking, crafting, learning, eating and sharing.  Some of the topics we explore include herbalism, fermentation, food access in the US, honeybees, seeds, wildcrafting, and blood sugar.

Intern Garden Class

Intern Garden Class is one of the educational opportunities afforded to interns during their 10-12 month stay at Woolman. It echoes many of the topics of exploration in Farm to Table class, with a heightened emphasis on skill building and the logistical components of organic farming.

Interns spend much of their weekly schedule working in the garden; Intern Garden Class is intended to complement and contextualize this time so to make it more rewarding, and to equip interns with skills to grow their own food.

Market

Our Dining Hall

Each growing season we harvest twice a week for our dining hall; in the summertime our produce goes to the summer camp, Camp Woolman, and in the fall and spring it goes to our semester school. Students and interns have the opportunity to harvest food directly from the garden and use it in the meals that they help to prepare. We also can and preserve food from the garden to enjoy through the winter months. 

CSA

We offer an 18-week CSA that runs from June to October. CSA members receive an abundance of local, in season, chemical-free food weekly along with a newsletter that includes recipes, photos and an update from the garden crew. CSA shares make a great gift! If you or someone you know might be interested in a Woolman Garden CSA share, contact Charlotte at charlottel@woolman.org for more information. 

Local Restaurants

Throughout the growing season we supply fresh produce to the wonderful, world renowned Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli in Grass Valley. 

Natural Systems

Chemical Free & Biointensive

While not certified, we use all organic practices to grow our food at Woolman. We strive to use biointensive growing practices, which emphasize maximizing yield while in the process promoting biodiversity, and building and enriching the soil to maintain a sustainable system. We use integrated pest management systems, a vermicomposting system, crop rotation, cover crop, aerated compost tea as some of our means of building up our soil profile and microbial community. We also have a permaculture forest garden inhabiting one corner of our garden. 

Direct Action

We believe that growing our own food is one of the most radical things we can do in today’s consumer culture. And in the process, we foster relationships within our community, create a space to learn, teach, celebrate and share nutrient dense food. In doing so we reduce our participation in industrialized food systems that exploit workers and animals, degrade our environment and alienate us from the joys of slow food. We strive to grow food in a way that is good for the land, our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and our sense of place in the world.

Community Life: Woolman and beyond

Field Trips & Classroom Visits

Working with our friends at Sierra Harvest, we bring over 300 local elementary and middle school students to our farm each school year for educational field trips. We are always excited to host field trips and share our garden with the greater community! If you are interested in bringing a group out to Woolman, contact Charlotte Lippincott at

Family Work Camp

Learn more by checking out our Family Work Camp page!

Plant Sale

Each May we hold a plant sale at Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli in Grass Valley. We sell fruits, veggies and herbs grown chemical-free that we start in our greenhouse early spring!

Shared Work

An important component of our semester school program is Shared Work, in which the students, interns and staff come together twice a week to do work that helps the community run. Depending on the time of year, groups might be chopping wood for our wood stoves, helping to cook dinner or harvesting apples for cider. There is always a group offering a hand in the garden—harvesting, picking rasberries, weeding, applying compost tea, or anything else that is a need of the garden throughout the growing season. The hands-on component of shared work in the garden also complements Farm to Table and Intern Garden Class. We consider shared work an important and a rewarding component of community living.

Get Involved!

Volunteer

If you're interested in volunteering on our farm, contact . You can also check out our VolunteerMatch page! We also have camping or rental accomodations for folks involved in staying for a few days.

Field Trips

If you’re a teacher or parent interested in scheduling a field trip for your class, please email charlottel@woolman.org for more information.

Our Wish List!

-Donations for seeds and greenhouse supplies

-Start up funds for mushroom zone

-Wheelbarrows

-Weed cloth & Woodchips!

-Canning supplies; lids and gaskets for canning and preserving our excess produce.