Farmers’ Field Schools

Farmers’ Field Schools are a key part of how we harness God’s power and love, to deliver change in people’s lives. They are a unique form of education that don’t just centre around about growing more food, but strive to initiate radical change in the lives of farmer members, their families and wider communities.

The basics:

  • A Field School is made up of a family of around 36 farmers and works in partnership with a local church
  • Each Field School has a Partner who provides funding for:
    • Technical field and administration staff
    • Learning materials and logistical support
    • Loans for good quality seed and fertiliser during training, and the opportunity to go on purchasing seed and fertiliser at more affordable rates during their training
  • Repayments from loans are used to help with the funding of future Field Schools
  • Each Farmer who graduates has the opportunity to benefit from Just Earth bulk buying of farm inputs, and in bulk marketing of farm produce – as a Just Earth family we can get fair prices and send food to other regions who need it.

How we learn in a Field School:

  • A Field School meets weekly for two years on a shared demonstration plot provided by the local Church
  • A facilitator of learning is assigned to help members find better ways of living and working through trialing together on their demonstration plot. The Facilitator is a Field School graduate and trained to help people find the answers in the field
  • The first year is intensive learning about a wide range of topics – different crops and growing techniques, Godly ways of living and working, conservation techniques, home-based health care – the list is extensive!
  • Lessons take place on the demonstration plot and at home with the guidance of the facilitator. Members also teach their neighbours, either one on one or at Demonstration Days, to spread good farming knowledge and show how God can change your farm and your family!
  • The second year is the chance for Field Schools to refine what they do on their plots and to become top farmers and generous community members by helping others in some way, e.g. by teaching orphan children how to grow food on their farms
  • Many Field Schools go on after graduation to form Community recognised groups, and grow food co-operatively together on their rented plots. 

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