By: Melissa Geise & Kendra Schaffer – Homestead Mentors
The Homestead in Klamath Falls offers students a softer transition and is a great way to shift from the wilderness to Dragonfly. Students have an opportunity to learn more about gardening, cooking, and caring for the farm and animals. We recently asked two of our farm mentors to share their experience of life on the Homestead and what makes this location unique.
Daily life at the Homestead starts with students waking up and tackling their morning routine: eating breakfast and following through on their chores for the week – including cleaning common areas, feeding the farm cat, making sure the turkeys and chickens have water and food, watering the greenhouse, and filling up the water containers in the barn for the goats, pigs and the donkey.
Students have daily groups that range from meditation and mindfulness practices, processing emotions and talking about the culture of the house, deep cleaning animal living spaces and working on projects around the farm.
The Dragonfly fitness and nutrition coordinator leads students through a workout routine and teaches them how to cook healthy recipes using food from the garden. Many of the skills students are learning through groups and chore assignments are transferrable into daily life once they begin living on their own. Young adults learn valuable skills like time management, teamwork, taking care of their property, caring for animals, communication skills, healthy hygiene practices, basic job skills, and how to cohabitate a shared living space.
Currently, the main harvest season has ended, and students and staff are starting to prep the greenhouse and garden for winter crops. The group also spun out the honey from the beehive and are in the process of separating the wax to make candles and have honey for over the winter.
As farm mentors, one of the biggest highlights is seeing the students take ownership of the farm. Most students come to the Homestead without any prior knowledge about how farm life works, but once they’ve learned the daily routine, they usually enjoy the space a lot more and take pride in caring for the garden and animals.