As more and more young people become interested in sustainable farming, Molly Rockamann recognized a problem: kids needed a place to learn how to farm. So she started the St. Louis-based nonprofit EarthDance Farms, an educational organic farm. Now in its fourth year, EarthDance Farms has graduated some 70 budding farmers.
“I think I’m not cut out to be a full-time farmer,” Molly explained in an interview with Organic Connections. “I learned that when I was an apprentice at University of California Santa Cruz’s organic farm. But I still really wanted to be immersed in it. I realized my passion is in education; as a kid I thought I was going to be a teacher when I grew up. So in this way I can be both a farmer and a teacher.”
Students at the farm can participate in an apprenticeship program in order to learn skills vital to starting their own farms. Additionally, Rockamann has initiated a farm-to-table camp for middle school students in order to instill appreciation for sustainable agriculture at an early age.
“I think that a lot of people who were initially interested in organic food for health reasons are now interested in the environmental implications, and are understanding more of the political aspect of food too,” Rockamann continued. “That’s one of the ways that I really love to get our apprentices engaged in the food movement. It’s not just learning how to grow healthy food, but also how to grow the movement.”
Read more in Organic Connections.