Veterans in the program will be taught several core principles.
Kitchen, Gardening & Value-Added Products
The first goal of the farming endeavor will be to sustain the facility and provide nutritious meals for the staff and veterans. Participants will learn to cook, process, and prepare the food for use at the facility as well as for sale, as part of their education. Food produced beyond the facility’s immediate needs will be processed and sold to the public at either wholesale or added value retail prices. The products will provide a modest income in the first years of the facility. Garden production will start mainly with basic produce for table use and will include a greenhouse to prolong the harvest into the winter.
The facility will have a woodworking shop where veterans will be taught basic woodworking skills and may construct an array of items if they wish. To those interested, specific instruction will be given in making fine woodworking cupolas.
A goal in the education of veterans with farming equipment is to augment and complement skills they may have already used in service. For instance, most soldiers are required to have some sort of driver’s license, and some have their MOS in a mechanical field. Specifically, classes on preventive maintenance of military vehicles are given to soldiers who specialize in mechanical and technological tasks. Because this military knowledge may not be directly translatable to civilian life, this study of farm machinery will serve as a helpful transition, while expanding their existing skill set. Veterans with a background in mechanics/diesel maintenance will be supervised to transition into repair of farm equipment. The machinery program will eventually be used in outreach and networking in conjunction with other local farms.