Swallowtail owns 26-acres of farmland on the western edge of Hillsboro, OR. This land meets the rural vision held for the school with a quaint farmhouse and barn, a sweeping expanse of productive farmland, and a meandering creek.
Swallowtail's annual tradition is to hold the first week of each new school year at the Farm. Outdoor School is a wonderful way to bid one last farewell to summer as students and teachers settle back into the school routine.
Each class has its own Farm curriculum, guided by our Farm Steward, Noah Marquis. In addition to the first week of outdoor school, individual classes visit frequently with lessons and projects specific to their grade-level curriculum. The Farm provides Swallowtail children an opportunity to cultivate respect for the land in many ways: planting & tending gardens, building shelters for wildlife, and caring for farm animals.
The Farm is home to a variety of livestock, which are cared for by Farmer Noah and the students. There is also abundant wildlife in the area.
The Farm is a center of activity for Swallowtail families, as it is host to many of our favorite annual events including Ice Cream Social, Farm to Table Dinner, Michaelmas, Harvest Faire, May Faire and our end-of-school family camp-out.
Our faculty finds that Waldorf curriculum is greatly enhanced by having this property as a resource.
In addition to serving the Waldorf curriculum, Swallowtail's Farm Campus also plays a greater role in the community at large:
- The Farm produces a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that delivers fresh produce, grown using biodynamic farming practices. The CSA runs 22 weeks from September through June.
- Hillsboro Public Schools grows 3,000 strawberry plants on the property as part of its nutrition program.
- The Farm hosts Medieval Games, an annual competition among sixth graders from regional Waldorf schools.
- Students from Portland Waldorf School spent a week living on the farm as part of a high school outdoor program.
- The Farm neighbors Camp Ireland, a very large, wooded property owned by the Boy Scouts of America. Swallowtail shares use of its Farm property and the Boy Scouts share their property with Swallowtail.