Please make a note of our new telephone number: 828.575.2445.
We love to inspire our customers with quality livestock, feed, and passion for the farming lifestyle. Sometimes a family becomes especially dear to us, and like proud grandparents or doting aunties, we glow with their growing homesteading success.
Enter schoolteachers Kimberly and Joe Kirstein, who with their three young sons, have worked since 2008 to transform the family’s depression-era apple orchard into a thriving and sustainable educational farm. Adelbert Farm has become Fairview’s go-to destination for homeschool classes, summer camps, and hands-on learning about life.
“Adelbert Farm is the natural result of parents who enjoy teaching and being outside in the mountains,” says Kimberly. ”Our boys have always loved their homeschooling adventures on the land worked by four generations of Joe’s family. We decided to share the joy of learning interactively with the natural world with other families.”
Kimberly lights up with a smile as she adds that this year’s summer camp and weekday classes filled quickly. “We run several homeschool classes for kids ranging in age from 5-12. They’re learning science, literature, seasonal celebrations, even pre-algebra. And it’s all through the context of homesteading activities, along with some Waldorf-style instruction.”
The work hasn’t been easy. “My father was ill before he passed in 2008, so the land was overgrown with shoulder-height plants. Our first summer was spent restoring access, views, and trails,” says Joe. “We refinanced our Oakley house for the cash needed to enclose a full acre for chickens and goats, and start a garden. Then there was the yurt, 2 outhouses, and a greenhouse. We’ve doubled the size of the garden each year, enriching the soil for organic growing.”
Joe Kirstein reflects on the changes in the family in 4 years of hard work. “It’s been a leap of faith to move onto the land and restore Adelbert Farm as our family-owned business, and Kimberly gets the credit for getting us started. We’re doing what we love now, and so are our kids. Our son Joshua raised 25 roosters this year from day-old chicks, and sold every one – all with his own money.”
Through it all, Eagledove has offered the Kirstein family warmth and support, hugs when needed, healthy farm livestock, and quality organic feeds. “Eagledove has been a partner to our success in so many ways,” Kimberly adds. “Mayo and Ajani treat the boys like their own kids, encourage us with farming wisdom, and supply us with everything we need along the way.”
Joe and Kimberly teach courses three days per week, and and there’s a monthly nature study day for the entire homeschooling community on Friday. Joe particularly enjoys leading a wilderness class for boys aged 8-12 on Thursdays. “We build trails, bridges, even generators, and talk about boys’ issues.” Beyond classes, a weekly newsletter sent to 50 families describes produce available for pick-up at the farm or delivered.
Youngsters on Adelbert farm have the unique opportunity to become part of a working homestead, from germinating their own seeds in the greenhouse to growing and harvesting, all the way to cooking up a meal with their produce.
Mayo loves to share the latest about Adelbert Farms with customers. “I’m so excited for them, and for the whole community to have the farm as a working homestead. Joshua is so proud of his poultry operation. With classes now, and summer camp, Adelbert Farm joins us in supporting the entire yard farming community.”
Next time you’re looking for quality outdoor experiences led by devoted homesteading educators, look no further than the Kirstein family and Adelbert Farm. Or drop by to see what’s new at Eagledove Greenhouse and Garden Center, and you just might find them here.
Photo credits @Sonya Stone Photography and Adelbert Farm