Working Theory Farmhttp://www.workingtheoryfarm.com
Working Theory Farm is a diversified, certified-organic farm that produces fruit and vegetables, eggs, pasture-raised pigs, lambs and chickens. We are partnering with Harkins House, a youth shelter that is part of the Washington County Juvenile Program and serves as a short term temporary residential shelter care and evaluation program. Harkins House provides evaluation and individual care for delinquent youth pending alleged violations of the law who volunteer to participate in lieu of detention. The youth come out to the farm several times per week to work the fields, care for the animals and participate in cultivation and harvest. The youth then bring harvested produce back to Harkins House, where they prepare it for their own communal meals as part of a new in-house culinary skills program. Additional produce (as well as eggs and meat) are donated to other community organizations and sold from a small farm stand in support of the farm's mission. The engagement with the youth is designed to be regular and consistent in order to develop confidence and competence in the work, as well as a sense of ownership and pride of accomplishment. Ideally, outside volunteers can visit and work on the farm at the same time that the youth are present, allowing the youth to act as guides, elevating their own status as they share their expertise.