Hartland Farm is definitely one of our most unique producers. The farm serves as a training ground for the students and staff of Hartland Institute, a four year missionary school in beautiful Madison, Virginia, to learn and gain experience in growing and producing food. While some aspects of Hartland Institute are similar to a typical college (such as dormitories, majors, and a library), Hartland Institute definitely isn’t afraid to take an individualistic approach to education. Founded by Seventh-Day Adventists, the school takes a holistic approach to education with a strong focus on health, spirituality, agriculture, and music. It is their belief that agriculture provides beneficial exercise and provides lessons in faith, diligence, nature, and trust.
The mission behind Hartland Natural Farm is to promote agriculture as a means of education, economy, and as a fundamental aspect of man’s life, impacting all three of his basic dimensions: mind, body, and spirit. Hartland Natural Farm hopes to be able to address some of the fundamental environmental and economic issues our food industry is facing today. They do so by doing their part to teach and use organic growing practices as well as high tunnels (unheated greenhouses).
The produce at Hartland Natural Farm is grown for both resale and to help feed students at their student-run vegan-only cafeteria. Hartland Institute believes that by having students involved in every aspect of their own nourishment, it creates a unique connection and appreciation between students and the way their food was grown. They even offer classes at Hartland Institute that teach alternatives to traditional medicine, focusing on food/nutrition, exercise, and spirituality as natural remedies to disease. Students truly get to experience and study all aspects of food, from the sprouting of a seed to the health and happiness it creates in the body.
Given the quality of produce that comes from Hartland Natural Farm, you would believe that it was grown by a seasoned farmer. In fact, Hartland Natural Farm was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” award at the Community Food Awards in 2014 for the outstanding quality of their produce. We are happy to be working with them and helping to share their gifts!
Hartland Natural Farm is a Local Food Hub partner farm. We are proud to partner with Local Food Hub to connect small family farmers in Virginia to 4P FOODS customers. For more information on Hartland Natural Farm, visit their website.