As the eighth graders prepare to graduate our Horticulture curriculum, they are given the unique privilege of experiencing life and work on a real farm. Once a week, they travel to Grossman Farm, a five-acre, organic and biodynamic farm, where they assist with all types of farm tasks.
The Horticulture curriculum aims for the children to learn and appreciate organic gardening skills. They care for a plot of land by improving the soil, making and using compost, planting trees, flowers and bushes, harvesting their produce and weeding. During the winter months the children learn how to winterize the garden and prune trees. The children will also experience a brief introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture, a practice of enlivening the soil that enables the land to sustain itself through time.
Students take harvests to the farmhouse market to prepare for sale or deliver them to our local homeless shelter. They also undertake larger-scale projects at our school plots, such as constructing low tunnels, miniature greenhouse tunnels ideal for winter gardening, by bending conduit pipes.
The eighth grade, as soon-to-be initiates of the High School, traditionally bestows a class gift to the School Garden. Past gifts include the construction of a labyrinth in the nature trail, and the planting of cherry and pear trees on our campus.