AJ Barrett

AJ Barrett

farm school staff

For most my adult life I worked for 35 years with children and youth as dependents of the Juvenile Court and Foster Care.   I spent 12 years working in residential treatment programs and  group homes for severally emotionally disturbed children followed by 23 years in Child Protective Services.   I have always been a gardener and in preparation of a change away from social work I started a Nursery and a Landscaping business with a compact excavator, “Tonka” (the big shovel), learning about building ponds, water catchments and other permaculture designs.

As I became involved  in our community I found myself the youngest person in the room at 55 years.  We struggled with the fact that our generation has left an environmental mess for future generations and we would ask ourselves “where are the youth and how can we engage them”?  Well, I found them alive, well, engaged and excited at a local Farmer’s Guild meeting!!  That is when I got involved in the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture. I have found that many of my skills working with  organizational systems, administrative structure, communication skills and leadership skills are needed and readily transfer to the growth of this critically important “new agrarian movement”.

So I get the honor to continue to work with the youth!  It is a relief and a pleasure to work with youth who are so committed, so hard working, so excited, willing and able to learn how to grow food while at the same time committed to restoring health to  our environment, respecting nature as our primary teacher and thus saving the earth!