On the Farm
Hidden Villa's Youth Development program inspires young leaders to become agents of change by encouraging respect, empathy, stewardship, critical-thinking, and community engagement. Middle school and high school age students in our programs engage with our farm, wilderness, and each other in ways that nurture a thriving adult.
We offer two types of programming: Group Programs and Individual Programs.
Group programs are an opportunity to engage your class or youth group in hands-on, experiential learning. Our program offers twelve different types of programs in half day or full day formats designed to supplement your classwork. These programs can be combined with overnight accommodations in our youth hostel or camping. Individual programs are after-school or summer opportunities for teens to develop new skills and gain a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture and other topics.
This Summer, our Youth Development Program staff have been leading individual one week long programs for youth. In June, teens came to participate in the Social Justice Leadership Essentials. This program focuses on Hidden Villa's founders' passion for Social Justice. Through daily reflections, hands-on activities, teens building their knowledge of the program's five pillars: Race & Class, Gender, Sexuality & Family Structure, Food & Farm, Environmental Sustainability, and how these tie into the Duveneck Legacy.
Most recently, teens participated in the Farm Based Cooking Academy. In this program, teens explore Hidden Villa's certified organic farm to learn about soil science, animal husbandry, sustainable farming, and localized food systems. During each day, teens get to hone their culinary skills by learning new recipes that incorporate the fresh, organic produce being grown here. After a basic introduction to food safety and knife skills, campers gained confidence in the kitchen by practicing how to simmer, sauté, bake, broil, mince, and more. Campers also learned how to harvest fresh produce from the farm to create delicious dishes including Massaged Kale Salad, Homemade Pizza, and Zucchini Muffins with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
Here are some testimonials:
"My confidence in the kitchen has grown. I'm excited to cook my mom a meal at home!"
"It encouraged me to cook more for myself and be adventurous in flavors."
"The most interesting part is when I learned the difference between industrial farming and localized food systems. I feel motivated to teach my family how we can make a difference!"
Preparing some lunch