Animal Care Vision, Mission, & Goals

Desert Marigold School Animal Care seeks to develop an educational farm that supports organic living, environmental sustainability, and good stewardship of the Earth.
The Desert Marigold School includes the care and use of farm animals in the Waldorf curriculum as part of its campaign for environmental sustainability by making the barnyard an integral part of biodynamic farming and reinforcing the intrinsic value of animals on quality of life.

Biodynamic farming at Desert Marigold School is an integral part of Waldorf teaching methods. In early childhood academic development, animals provide the basis for fantastic fairytale realms, and as our children grow, their connections with the animals and plants of the natural world serve to build a greater understanding of their own selves. Our barnyard at Desert Marigold School is central to the school’s emphasis on environmental sustainability. In addition to their aesthetic value, the farm animals that live at the school provide composting fodder that amends the soil in the community garden, and their presence reinforces in our children the intrinsic value of animals as part of our existence. Animals provide food; animals bring wonder of adaptation and survival; and animals provide the avenue by which people learn about trust, assertiveness, and unconditional love. Caring for animals teaches children empathy, responsibility, and a sense of personal reward for doing good work.
Though our children are responsible for the care of the Desert Marigold School farm animals, ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Animal Care Coordinator(s) to oversee the health and well-being of the animals and to supervise our children as they develop their knowledge and skills about caring for farm animals. We collectively ensure that our barnyard companions are healthy, happy, and receive proper care. It is a communal responsibility to feed and bed down the animals everyday, including weekends, holidays, and school breaks, and maintain the barnyard for the safety and health of our animals. Caring for animals is fun and peaceful work.

Feeding & Bedding

Volunteers feed the animals in the morning and bed the animals each night. Animal Care Volunteers require special training. Sign-up for training or see the current sign-ups if you’ve already been trained

I’m Trained — Show me the sign-ups
I Need Training — Show me the available training dates

Muck Out

Muck outs occur as needed and require no special training.
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RSVP to a Muck Out (no dates available)
Notify me of upcoming muck outs

Our Campus Animals

Chicory

Chicory is a mini horse. He came to DMS in 2019. Chicory is calm and sweet. He loves walks around campus to eat crab grass.

Spammy

Spammy is a pig. She is super sassy as well as the boss and protector of the barn. Spammy came to DMS from a local family looking for a beautiful new home for their beloved pet. She loves meal time and treats.

Champ

Champ is a mini-horse. He came to live at DMS in 2019. He is young and energetic but still learning his manners.

Apollo

Apollo is an all black unicorn goat. He is the oldest of the goats and likes to think he is in charge.

George

George is a sweet little brown goat. He came to DMS as a little baby, along with Luna, in 2018.  George can be a little shy, but can always be convinced with treats.

Luna

Luna is a sweet little black goat. She came to DMS as a little baby, along with George, in 2018.  Luna can be a very shy, but can sometimes be convinced with treats.

Chickens

Desert Marigold is home to a robust flock of chickens. They enjoy getting snacks from the garden and laying eggs in the coop. Fresh eggs can be purchased in the front office. They sell quickly!

Ducks & Geese

Desert Marigold has a small flock of ducks and a goose who enjoy the campus pond.