A Place of Exploration, Wonder, and Learning
Nestled in Weddington, NC lies a remarkable 330-acres of land that is a symbol of sustainable agriculture and serves as an expansive outdoor learning lab for our students in grades JK–12.
Donated by Smoky and Margaret Gragg Bissell in 2022, Weddington Farm is an exemplary model of sustainable farming and offers vast and varied natural surroundings, such as wooded expanses with native trees and plants, open natural spaces, and a stream. It includes vegetables, goats and chickens, beekeeping, and mushroom farming. The diverse landscape offers unique opportunities for experiential education, providing students with hands-on lessons in agricultural education, ecology, biology, environmental science, and much more.
Weddington Farm is a rarity in the region as one of the few schools with access to such an extensive and dynamic educational resource. The integration of agricultural practices creates a living classroom where students can explore, learn, and appreciate the intricacies of food production and environmental stewardship. Examples of inquiry-based learning include:
- Exploring a 10-mile nature trail system
- Harvesting and packing crops with our onsite farmer
- Testing surface water quality
- Surveying tree populations
- Building birdhouses for the property
- Conducting a bird walk survey
- Learning about beekeeping and mushroom farming
- Integrating reading and writing (such as turning pumpkins into beloved book characters in second-grade!)
- Participating in the operation and optimization of a modern, intensive, small-scale farm.
Our agricultural program boasts key facilities that support the farm's existing production and facilitates the ongoing goal to extend growing throughout the year. Facilities include:
- Two climate-controlled greenhouses
- Teaching garden
- Walk-in cooler
- Commercial wash and pack station
Our goal is for students of any grade level to not only learn about where and how their food is grown, but for them to experience the challenges of growing healthy crops and to better appreciate the value of produce when it is shared in their school meals.
–Harvesting, washing, packing, canning, herbs, preserving
–Floral Education (growing, arranging, and pressing)
–Plant Propagation (cutting and seed starting)
Bird Box Woodworking
Cooking and Baking
Arts and Crafts
Livestock (goats and chickens)
Long-term studies (birds, forestry, and surface water)
Mushroom Education (foraging and inoculation)
Nature Art (murals and painting)
Poetry and Writing
Steve WallDirector of Educational Programming
It is a wonderful gift to have a place of natural beauty nearby that can serve as an outdoor classroom for multiple dimensions of learning, exploration, and fun. The students have already experienced it with such joy and we look forward to a steady array of planning and activities for students of all ages."