A key element in a Montessori adolescent program is access to a farm that can provide limitless opportunities for study and work. Adjacent to the school property is a historic farm and homestead, designated a “Century Farm,” originally known as Murphy Springs Farm.
The Murphy family, originally from Virginia, first settled on the 180-acre-farm in 1797. The Gothic style farmhouse has stood since about 1841, but remained mostly empty for the last decade. The farm is like a snapshot of a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. The old spring house is still in place next to the smokehouse and the old windows frame views of woods and fields. Kevin Murphy is the kind, supportive, and conscientious next-door-neighbor to NWMS. He is dedicated to historic preservation and has worked closely with the local preservation group, Knox Heritage, to restore the original home as accurately as possible, while updating it with modern technology. The outbuildings are unaltered and the land is contracted out to a local farmer who cuts hay and runs cattle and a few mules on the property.
The AC staff has formed a land partnership with Mr. Murphy that allows us the opportunity to use approximately two acres of the Murphy property for educational and agricultural purposes. This is hugely significant to the growth and development of the Adolescent Community at NWMS. Students have had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Murphy and tour his spring house and smokehouse as part of the Food Preservation Science Occupation. Our stretch of farmland will be used to grow food and flowers for on-site use as well as to sell for the AC Microeconomy. We are dedicated to growing heirloom flower and vegetable varieties that compliment the history of the property, as well as using chemical-free, sustainable agriculture techniques.