From MICHAEL FOLEY
Antonia Partridge is Director for the newly formed California State Grange School of Agricultural Arts. She began teaching agriculture at Mendocino College in 2001, and from 2008-2012 Antonia managed 4 acre Willits High School Farm and 1 acre Brookside School Farm. She led students in farm production of diverse crops and livestock as well as linking the farm to practical business and marketing experience. School garden curriculum also included nutrition education classes linking gardens and kitchens. Antonia Partridge’s education includes a BS in sustainable agriculture from the University of California at Davis. In 2001 she started a homestead scale farm of her own, Living Hills Homestead, where she hosted WWOOFers for 10 years. Antonia now lives in Willits, CA, with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Flora, in the 100 year old Craftsman Bungalow the family is restoring.
The School will be located on beautiful Ridgewood Ranch, south of Willits in Mendocino County. This historic ranch was home to champion racehorse Seabiscut in the 1930’s.
Now the ranch offers abundant opportunities for nature exploration and agriculture experience. The ranch has a large private reservoir which invites recreation and offers abundant irrigation water for the farm.
Several projects on the ranch including a small goat dairy, a fiber animal project, a Grow-Bio-Intensive farm, and a highly regarded Holistic Range Management project offer a range of programs complementary to the Grange Farm School. Hwy 101 runs through the east end of the 5000 acre ranch and provides a farm stand location with excellent public visibility and access.
The Farm School will be begin cultivation in a 5 acre field, manage a mature orchard, and use a small house. The house will serve as office space and commons/library for students. To accommodate groups, wall tents and an outdoor kitchen – dining area will be constructed next to the house. The field, adjacent to the house will be our primary location for hands-on agricultural. education. ~~