Although students of all ages have the opportunity to experience our garden, the formal gardening program begins when the students enter fifth grade. Their ever-increasing capacities of thought, coordination, and strength can be guided in meaningful ways by developing a sense of respect, wonder, and responsibility for the earth. Through working with tools, observing the plants, creating humus through composting, sowing seeds, nurturing the plants, and harvesting the foods, the students share in the processes of nature while learning the cycles of the evolving garden through practical and artistic experience. When their work is over they look on the changes they have made and the effort put forth with a sense of accomplishment and well-being. The social aspects of gardening are crucial, for it is only through cooperating with one another that the projects can be realized.
Fifth grade: use of tools, planting bulbs, sketching healing herbs, preparing the garden for winter, sowing spring greens, harvesting, and salad making.
Sixth grade: harvesting herbs and fall vegetables, care for fruit trees, transplanting seedlings.
Seventh grade: preparing a meal from the harvest, pesto and tomato sauces, nutritional value of plants, composting.
Eighth grade: creating a nursery for annuals and perennials, harvesting seeds and preparing them for planting, growing plants in a greenhouse.