Follow us on our journey as we move through the seasons, creating a farm to fork experience for Mountain Song students on our little parking lot turned paradise!
During the fall semester, as flowers crinkled, the trees shed their last leaves, insects took cover into crevices, and all the helpers of the plants nestled down to the roots and the soil, our focus in ag arts turned inward as well. We harvested the very last of this season’s crops, using pumpkins for class nature tables and for our autumn dance, afterwards returning them to the compost for treats to keep our chickens free from parasites. We were also busy collecting seeds from the many flowers and herbs adorning the garden including cosmos, marigold, cardoon, and echinacea, morning glory, cilantro, and calendula. Many hands were making handmade seed packets to be used as needed later in the year. Students also brought the last of the edibles inside to use in cooking arts. Eggs were used for pies in cooking arts and the first graders boiled them for snack one day. Our hearty girls kept laying right up to winter break. Bedding was piled deeper as jack frost visited more often. We did much tidying, raking, mulching, and organizing, taking time to build and repair as needed.We also welcomed a new friend, Snowball the angora bunny, to the farm.
Our goal for this year is to build a formal school agricultural arts curriculum that follows the season’s natural rhythms, incorporates waldorf principals, and supports standards for each grade. In traditional waldorf schools, farming was not taught until 6th grade, beyond the third grade farming block. We are incorporating a balance of practical work , blended with garden lessons and projects that promote collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity. So far, we are well on our way and have implemented these elements into our current and ever evolving curriculum.This year we are focusing on supporting the students in taking ownership of the farm as theirs. We feel that actively involving children in decisions of the farm help them value their own role as leaders and collaborators, creates a sense of stewardship, and reinforces the concept of responsibility. The schoolyard will always serve as a place where wonder and reverence are valued and central to our approach. The children’s enthusiasm for all things farm has been a source of inspiration to me as their teacher. So come along with us, as we journey down the garden path together……..
xo, Ms. Elise