Students learn about sustainable solutions to global and environmental issues in the classroom, and twice-weekly shared work gives them the opportunity to put that learning into practice on the campus. With shared work, our school carries out its commitment to experiential, place-based education. It gives students the opportunity to explore the dynamic of human ecology within the natural ecosystem of our campus.
For example, during shared work students are involved in the care of our organic orchard: fertilizing the trees during winter, pruning in spring, and harvesting fruit in the fall. They become familiar with the life cycle of fruit trees, care and prevention of disease, pollination, and many techniques for fruit preservation after the harvest. Students also become intimately familiar with the energy source for their wood-heated cabins during shared work: while processing firewood, they learn about forest management, the carbon cycle, tree identification, and they experience how sunlight is ultimately transformed into heat for their homes. Other skills learned during Shared Work include cooking, organic gardening, road repair, native plant propagation, irrigation, carpentry, plumbing, livestock management, and many others.