Expansion of the animal corral space

The Farmette is home to 2 Nigerian dwarf goats and 21 chickens of various breeds. These animals are not just a delight to the students, but provide an outlet other than farming to learn and practice the care, responsibility, and maintenance that is essential to housing animals. Caring for the animals is maintained by the Farm Director and very regular student volunteers. Our current animal corral was built 3 years ago with the intention of housing chickens. In Dec 2020 the 2 goats were acquired and they are sharing the space. While this has worked okay thus far, for proper care, exercise, and potential future breeding, the goats need their own larger space. We are dedicated to creating a new space that is 25'x25'x35' fenced in space with a small housing shed, adjacent to the existing chicken corral. This project is set to begin Oct 3, 2021 to be completed by the end of November 2021. First project scope is installing the solid and secure fence. Second will be acquiring a Tuff Shed and making some small modifications to function as their shelter.

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Project Hakhel

Project Hakhel Shanah Tovah v’ G’mar Chatimah Tovah! This week in the Jewish calendar, between the High Holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we enter a period known as the Ten Days of Return. During this time, the Book of Life is opened and the fate of the world – and all its inhabitants – is considered: a universal event occurring on a cosmic scale. We have also just entered a shmita year (5782), otherwise known as a Sabbatical Year, which occurs just once every seven years. Shmita quite literally means “release” and its observance requires that the human being alter their use of the land. It instigates a “letting go” of various systems – agricultural or otherwise – that have become concretized within the human approach to nature. Given that, outside of the land of Israel there is no obligation to observe a shmita year, we have a great opportunity (in the diaspora) to use shmita as a lens – even a metaphor – for our ecological engagement. This gives us a wonderful framework to develop a deeper relationship between ourselves and our environment. And we can work with this framework, over the course of the coming year, to expand our understanding of what it means to participate in a Sabbath of the Land (Shabbat haAretz). The Torah describes that after the end of the shmita year, during the subsequent harvest festival of Sukkot (5783), a special event takes place known as hakhel. Hakhel, meaning “gather,” was a historical event that brought the Jewish people, and those living among them, to gather in Jerusalem to listen and hear sections of the Book of Deuteronomy. Although no longer practiced in this way, hakhel demonstrates that a deep understanding – and reflective integration of shmita – can only proceed from a form of active listening. In the same way that shmita can help inform our ecological engagement, so too can hakhel help inform our integration of those very ideas. This is because it challenges us to reinforce the experiential sense of rest and regeneration experienced during shmita. Hakhel only becomes a culmination of the Sabbatical year through a harvesting of our deep listening – on a communal level. And this is applicable to our times. This shmita year (5782), the Deep Water Initiative is launching Project Hakhel – an open invitation for people to creatively reflect upon how religion and ecological engagement can intersect. We are asking that you submit to us a creative project that demonstrates how you are being inspired to take ecological action during the shmita year. This can take the form of a poem, a song, a film, a prayer, a story about an on-going community project or any other creative medium of your choosing. The goal of your creative project is to illustrate how deep listening, and the principles of shmita, are reinforcing your relationship to place – and how that creativity can reinforce stronger community. For those who would like to submit a project, please send your project to us via email at the following address: contact@dwinitiative.org. We encourage you to share your submissions on social media with #deepwaterinitiative and #projecthakhel. At the end of each submission cycle, two projects will be awarded a cash prize of $350 each and will be displayed on our website. Copyright of all submitted works remains the copyright of the artist. We retain the right to display your work on Deep Water Initiative platforms. If you have any additional questions, feel free to e-mail us. Submission Deadlines: Cycle 1 – December 26, 2021 Cycle 2 – April 14, 2022 Cycle 3 – June 3, 2022

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Kiddush/Oneg of Return

When we return to the building it will be a joyous and sacred event! We want to honor the occasion by treading lightly on the earth with our celebration. For this event, we plan to serve local and/or organic foods and go light on the animal products (using the recipes that we'd planned for our 2020 kiddush project).

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School Compost & Recycling Integration

During the course of the 2021/2022 school year Denver Jewish Day School will implement a compost and recycling program in both cafeterias and outdoors at The Farmette. It is our mission to be as sustainable with our waste management as an institution and to teach these practices to our students and staff, additionally have this knowledge trickle into the family households of the students.

This will be a guided step-by-step mission. It begins with finding a local composting/recycling company to work with. Currently we have a site assessment arranged with Next Use on June 29, 2021 to begin a quote for service. Following an assessment of the waste generated by the school, we will begin the 1st phase of the program in 1 cafeteria and The Farmette. The appropriate number of bins will be in place, clear signage will be created, a student informational session will take place, and a faculty informational session will take place. Education is a major factor in this implementation. in addition to the knowledge shared by The Farmette manager, Next Use will also provide support. The 2nd phase will be adding the same practices to the 2nd cafeteria within a 3 month period after the 1st phase.

The Farmette will have recycling and compost bins, as well as the additional project of building an organic waste 3-system compost structure to appropriately manage our farm waste. This will not be collected by Next Use, rather it will be reused for The Farmette beds.

Next Use will adjust and accomodate our needs for the amount of bins needed (both recycling and compost), number of pick-ups per month, amount of training sessions, and will provide the school with compost to use for our garden beds – this last factor creates a wonderful circular system where the school will receive back it’s refined compost to use. The Farmette manager will organize a small team of faculty who will oversee the progress, implementation, and accuracy of this program will regular monitoring and check-ins.

The use of this mini-grant will go directly to the cost of servicing Next Use for their bins and pick-ups. Additionally it will be used to cover proper and accurate signage and training sessions.

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