Who We Are
Where it all began
Hi! We are the Abriel's! In 2015 we started Henrieka Farm nestled in the hill towns of upstate New York. Our farming adventure started simply with 6 ducks and 6 chickens! A small coop turned into a big coop and spoiler alert! 6 chicks quickly turns into a herd of sheep! As our farm expanded, our family did too! With the addition of 2 little farmers, we recognized that moving towards a self sustaining life style was incredibly important to us.
In 2020 when the world was put on pause, it afforded us the time to recognize the true power of learning through doing for our little farmers. The level of responsibility, general and specific knowledge of the world, understanding of death and a true appreciation for their food chain, at only 2 and 3 was a bit astonishing as we reflected upon it.
As public servants, we knew that sharing the beauty of growing up on a farm with those around us was our way to contribute to our community. With that, Henrieka Farm Center was born. Chris manages the farm and Brittni brings the joys and educational wonders of agriculture and nature to our community.
Brittni and Chris met in 2006, and together have formed a life with public service at it's core. Brittni is a Captain in the Vermont Army National Guard and Chris is a Lieutenant in the Albany Fire Department. Together, we hold closely the value of family, maintaining strong friendships and building a community our children will enjoy and thrive in.
Brittni is passionate about educating the youth of our great nation in order to help create productive and capable citizens. As our founder, director and lead teacher she looks forward to the joy of teaching the ways of the world to others each day.
She has served our country for the last 13 years in the Vermont Army National Guard in a variety of rolls to include engineering officer, instructor and company commander. Brittni is a New York State Professionally Certified teacher in Childhood education, Literacy (B-6), Special Education (1-12), and Social Studies. She earned her Bachelors Degrees from Norwich University and her Masters Degree in Education from SUNY Albany. A life long learner, she has taken multiple professional development classes in the art and philosophy of nature preschools.
More to come as we build our team!
All cultivators with Henrieka Farm Center will be passionate about nature based education and spreading the joys of agriculture. They will be qualified through degrees or experience in one or many of the following areas:
The field of agriculture
Music or yoga, with childhood development specialty
All staff will have wilderness first aid certifications and participate in professional development regarding nature/forest school philosophy.
Working with Children
We believe that through play, hard work and exploration, all our learners will become responsible and compassionate individuals who think of others and appreciate what the world is capable of giving them.
Just as plants require proper surrounding soil and nutrients to grow and produce abundance, children too require boundaries and structure to grow into what they are meant to be. At times, working and playing on a farm can present risky situations. We believe that exploring these risky situations is a valuable and needed learning opportunity for all. At the same time, it is the job of Henrieka Farm Center to allow your child to thrive in a loving and safe environment. This may require teacher interjection and serious conversations, but will always afford an excellent learning opportunity.
In everything we do, there will be caring and educational undertones and goals.