- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: Mexico
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Credit Awarded: College
- Program Length: Four Weeks
- Start Month: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
- Category: Self-Discovery
- Selective: Yes
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Cabins
- Financial Aid: Not Available
- Minimum Cost: $1,000 - $2,999
The “Soil-to-Table Certification Program” is a 4-week residential program that provides training in small-scale ecological farming, farm-to-table cooking and self-reliance. Tres Estrellas Organic Farm and Garden is located in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, 1 hour south of San Diego. The program covers the basics of small-scale, ecological farming and farm to table food preparation through a dynamic combination of hands on and in classroom learning opportunities.
The Tres Estrellas Soil-to-Table Certification Program is designed for those interested in learning about ecological farming, farm-to-table food preparation and self- reliance. Through a combination of in-classroom and hands-on learning experiences, field trips and individual projects, students will explore how organic food is grown and how the bountiful, nutrient dense products of the farm can be used as food, medicine and more. Curricular topics covered include organic soil health management, greenhouse management, transplanting and direct seeding, irrigation, building soil fertility, raising chickens and goats, vegetable and fruit variety selection from a chef’s perspective, fruit and vegetable preservation and farmers and chefs working together.
Tres Estrellas is a 35-year-old, 6-acre organic production and educational farm. The farm and garden produces organic mixed fruits and vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, eggs, goat milk and cut flowers for various commercial kitchens. Fruits and vegetables are intensively planted in permanent raised beds that are strategically placed amongst perennial fruit and herb hedgerows. Egg laying chickens and roosters are located throughout the farm, providing organic eggs for the commercial kitchens, as well as helping to improve the health of the farm’s soil. The farm’s free-range Nigerian Dwarf goats provide soil enhancement through manure production and fresh milk for consumption and cheese making.
The two commercial kitchens located on Tres Estrellas property are El Cafecito and La Cocina Que Canta, or “The Kitchen That Sings”. Both kitchens serve as organic, plant-based culinary centers, as well as educational outlets.