Education

Agraria will serve as a living laboratory for citizen scientists of all ages.  Anticipated classes and workshops, in partnership with local schools, Antioch, Central State University, and the University of Dayton, include:

  • Ecological-- ecosystem functions, watersheds, soil biology, local flora and fauna.  
  • Skillsharing—homesteading, foraging, woodworking, chicken-tending.
  • Philosophical—Eco-psychology; Biophilia;  Eco-spirituality.
  • History and Geography--History of the Land; History of Local Indigenous and Black Farmers
  • Current Issues—Critical Agrarianism; Climate Change; and New Economics.

Classes from Mills Lawn and McKinney Middle School are already involved in studies on and of Agraria. We have planned a bike path from Agraria to Yellow Springs High School, just half a mile away, creating a safe and scenic way for students to access our education and volunteering opportunities. 

Our Farm-to-School partnership with Springfield Public Schools could expand with Agraria support for community gardens in Springfield and Dayton.

Central State University students and faculty participated in our first soil and water testing event. See the results here.

Central State University students and faculty participated in our first soil and water testing event. See the results here.

Barn

Agraria’s 7000 sqft bank barn is an oaken beauty.  Nearly 100 years old, the barn is in terrific shape, but needs some loving care to bring it into regular use as an event space. Plans are to update wiring, investigate and repair the roof and walls, add compost toilets and a catering space, and grace it with lighting and ceiling fans.

Our friends, supporters and community members gathered for a party to celebrate buying Agraria. See more photos are in the Celebration Gallery!

Our friends, supporters and community members gathered for a party to celebrate buying Agraria. See more photos are in the Celebration Gallery!

Yellow Springs Schools

We are partnering with the Yellow Springs Schools on cutting-edge agricultural curricula for Agraria. Their Project Based Learning experience and leadership will help us to develop programs that also benefit students from Xenia, Springfield, and Dayton.

McKinney Middle School students presented their findings and creations to the community at their "Into the Wild" Exhibition at Agraria's historic barn. 

McKinney Middle School students presented their findings and creations to the community at their "Into the Wild" Exhibition at Agraria's historic barn. 

Pastured Animals

Raising animals will enable us to research the soil-building potential of intensive rotational grazing and poly-cultural landscapes. We expect to add perimeter fences as well as interior movable fences, and pasture cattle, sheep, and chickens.

Agroforestry

Multi-story plantings, including trees, bushes, and understory build soil and symbiotic relationships with each other. We will be creating several different landscapes, beginning with the Jacoby Creek riparian barrier and moving outward to silvopasture and pasture cropping.  

Models we are exploring:

New Forest Farm, created by Mark Shepard, Author of Restoration Agriculture, including Forest Agriculture Nursery.

 

Agraria encompasses both fields and riparian forest, offering a variety of terrific opportunities for agricultural study and production. 

Agraria encompasses both fields and riparian forest, offering a variety of terrific opportunities for agricultural study and production. 

Pavilion

Building an open-air structure in our upper field will extend our gateway space into our restored landscape in view of the Jacoby Creek and our Demonstration Gardens and pond.  The pavilion will be home to art and biodiversity classes, concerts, weddings, and convivial gatherings.  

Agraria's natural beauty begs to be shared with everyone.

Agraria's natural beauty begs to be shared with everyone.

Gardens

Our upper field and forest walk will be cultivated to provide an educational and aesthetic experience close to Agraria’s gateway. Pollinator, food forest, medicinal and dye gardens will give visitors a sense of what is possible in small urban or suburban spaces.  

Some models we are exploring: The Land Instituteperennial grain research and education

Community Solutions looks forward to sharing Agraria's beauty with all visitors.

Community Solutions looks forward to sharing Agraria's beauty with all visitors.

TNC

Nature Conservancy—We are partnering with this national organization on a restoration of Jacoby Creek, which will be a national model of pairing conservation with agriculture. Plans include a re-meandering of the creek, removal of invasive species, and replanting with natives. We will be doing concurrent research on soil and water quality in partnership with Xylem and area universities.

Visit the Nature Conservancy site to learn more!

Experts from The Nature Conservancy visited Agraria to complete a site assessment in the area around Jacoby Creek.

Experts from The Nature Conservancy visited Agraria to complete a site assessment in the area around Jacoby Creek.

Greenhouse

Native Plantings are an important antidote to biodiversity loss. Our greenhouse and forest nursery will include trees, shrubs, wetlands species and medicinal plants, both for our own use, and for sale.

We look forward to continuing our gardening partnership with community organizations in nearby Springfield, OH. 

We look forward to continuing our gardening partnership with community organizations in nearby Springfield, OH. 

Compost

A farm-scale windrow composting system will enable us to provide compost for our own fields, as well as regional gardeners. Using biochar and other amendments, we will be able to create brews that directly address the deficiencies in rural and urban soils.  

To learn more about soil health and climate change, please see this Soil Health Primer from the No Regrets Initiative.

Community Solutions is just beginning to renew and use Agraria's resources!

Community Solutions is just beginning to renew and use Agraria's resources!

Food Systems

Agraria will be a center for support of the regional food system. Growing and food safety classes, tool lending, soil amendments, and the development of closed-loop systems could support and foster regional small farmers.  A Farm-to-School partnership with Springfield Public Schools could expand with Agraria support for community gardens in Springfield and Dayton.

Some models we are exploring: Marin County Carbon Project – a farming partnership in California that could be a model of how Agraria partners with other local farms.

Sage Pence, an Americorps Vista at Community Solutions, exchanges thoughts on farmstand work with a Springfield partner.

Sage Pence, an Americorps Vista at Community Solutions, exchanges thoughts on farmstand work with a Springfield partner.