Last spring, as part of their gardening curriculum, the 3rd grade planted vegetables, herbs, grains, flowers and pollinators in the “kitchen garden”, located behind the Handcraft Building. Under the guidance of Heather Foran of The Resilience Hub, they used permaculture techniques, including no-till planting (aka lasagna planting) to keep the upper, organic layers of the soil intact, and heavy mulching to hold moisture, reduce weeds, and protect the plants from extreme temperatures. Like 3rd grade classes in many Waldorf schools, they included a “3-sisters” garden, consisting of squash, corn, and pole beans.
Recently, these same students harvested from this garden a bounty of squash, beans, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, onions, corn, amaranth, garlic, herbs, and flowers. With a little help from the parents, they ground the corn into cornmeal and used the grains and vegetables to make a delicious harvest lunch for the community.
Their teacher, Suzie Peirson, mentioned that the diversity of a Waldorf curriculum allows each student to find something that deeply touches and engages them. Noting how proud they were to be serving the fruits of their labor, it was clear that for some of these students, gardening was exactly what they needed. For the appreciative faculty who enjoyed the lunch, it was also what they needed!