Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Belle Meade School (in its 17th year and VISA accredited) offers a holistic secondary-education program on a 138-acre working farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia. The school works in conjunction with Belle Meade Farm and is owned by Mike Biniek and Susan Hoffman. They left their urban life 30 years ago to fulfill their dream of creating a model community for sustainable living.
Belle Meade has grown into what it is today because of their flexible, nurturing patience as they developed the different components of their holistic vision. Grounded in the idea of sustainable living, Belle Meade Montessori School strives to create an atmosphere where students discover their passions, express their creativity, develop responsibility, and learn to be contributing members of their community.
Students participate in the life of the farm, take care of animals, tend the garden, gather, split and stack firewood. Composting, fertilizing the soil by moving poultry houses and rotational grazing are all part of practicing sustainable living. Families and community members buy food from the farm that the students helped to grow thus helping to support the school.