Essential Education

Seventh-day Adventists shouldn’t be surprised by the new evidence linking gardening with superior human development.

Did you know that gardening for 45 minutes can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of heart-healthy aerobics?1 Were you also aware that soil contains properties more effective than antidepressants like Prozac?2 The longer you garden, the more you realize the benefits to your body, intellect, and soul.3 

Nearly 150 years ago we were counseled, “Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools.”4 “Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind,” and “this work is essential to the education most favorable to spiritual advancement.”5 This is why Hartland is committed to running a solid, agricultural farm as an essential part of our educational experience. 

The Hartland College farm consists of orchards, gardens, and greenhouses where students grow fruit and vegetables according to God’s laws of nature. In addition to the opportunities for hands-on education, all students take a gardening course that includes training in seed selection, soil preparation, planting, weeding, fertilizing, watering, and harvesting. 

“My experience at the farm has been very humbling,” says Miguel Harris, a second-year student. “It is a blessing to learn practical things, and to know it’s also preparation for the hard times to come. My goal is to one day be a farmer and minister to others through gardening and the health message.” 

Brittany Limberg, a freshman, shares, “The farm has taught me many lessons, especially patience. I didn’t like the farm at first, but now I see its significance. I can see God through nature in so many ways.” 

Hartland’s farm is at the forefront of healthful agricultural methods, producing superior quality, nutrient-rich crops free of harmful chemicals and genetically modified organisms. Not only do its harvests supply Hartland’s kitchens, but the crops are sold to local distributors and farmers’ markets.

Hartland’s agricultural course is an essential aspect of our holistic educational program, also serving as an industry. Ultimately, gardening increases our faith and trust in God and teaches us to partner with Him. By working the land as the Lord commands, we will truly have the green advantage.


1Next Avenue,

2 "Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy,"

3 See reference 1.

4 White, Ellen G., Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 179.

5 Ibid, pp. 179 and 178.

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