Autumn and Nature-Based Activities Inspire Learning at Boni-Bel Farm

October 19, 2020

As a therapeutic school rooted in nature-based practices, the seasons help keep the pace of learning at Green Chimneys. Fall provides our students with many valuable lessons and at Boni-Bel Farm & Country Store, education comes in both the hands-on and outdoor varieties.

Boni-Bel Farm, just down the road from our Brewster campus, serves as an adjunct to the classroom and a vocational education site for the students of Green Chimneys, as well as a charming farm and country store.

In the fields, Green Chimneys School students interact with nature as they learn about crops and farming. After school programming at Boni-Bel supports skill-building while vocational training extends to the Country Store where students explore operations and customer service in a real retail environment.

Among the many projects students have undertaken at Boni-Bel this semester include:

  • Helping the Country Store transition to fall merchandise, arranging and restocking the pumpkin “patch”, taking inventory of new and old merchandise
  • Harvesting the last of the fall crops including picking Asian pears, cutting corn stalks, and learning how farmers prepare for winter
  • Select students are learning about landscaping and how to operate leaf-blowing and weed-whacking equipment

A bamboo grove is getting a lot of attention these days. Students are helping reshape the grove into an outdoor Zen garden before the arrival of winter. “Like most things, the hardest part is getting started,” explains Program Assistant Ellen Rockett. By working as a team, several of the students have cut a path to the center of one grove. “They’ve really taken interest in repurposing the cut bamboo. Employing their creativity and imagination, one student is making a bench out of the cut canes and a few others are creating wind chimes.”

Nature-Based Approach to Education and Therapy

Nature-based education and hands-on learning support academic growth while also helping children establish essential coping strategies, particularly for our students, many of whom struggle with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. (Read more about our approach here.) Students are growing while doing, and they’re able to practice life skills in the process. At Boni-Bel, students especially enjoy seeing customers appreciate their efforts.

See for yourself: Visit Boni-Bel

Boni-Bel Farm & Country Store is located at 301 Doansburd Road, Brewster, NY, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm. Details

Mark your calendar for Sat, Nov 28 when Holidays on the Farm begins and holiday trees, greens, and more are available. Details