Lettuce, Radishes, Peas and More!

Lettuce, radishes, peas, and beans . . . mealworms, centipedes, earthworms, garden spiders . . . catbirds, red tailed hawks, fox, deer . . . seashell sets, whale baleen, emu egg, making paper . . . what a year it has been!

The highlight of sustainable science always seems to be the work we are doing now. So the garden is currently exciting, but wait! We are in the woods today! Each week, Children’s House and Lower Elementary students are outside exploring one or the other when the weather cooperates.

If we look at the long-range picture, I must mention the new deer fence that was built by Eagle Scout, Marc Zamora, and his Boy Scout troop. As you’ve probably seen, we have groundhogs on the property. Between the groundhogs and the deer, peas have not survived the last couple of planting seasons here at TMS. This year, because of the deer fence, we are growing peas! The first flowers are presenting themselves, so I’m hopeful that children can eat peas before the last day of school. Summer camp will likely have peas and beans. Next fall, we will enjoy tomatoes, zinnia flowers, and hopefully carrots, kale, beans, and peppers.

The scout troop worked hard and long on Saturday, March 30. I knew this would be demanding, but I had no idea how demanding it was going to be! Post holes were dug three feet into the ground for a very sturdy fence structure. It is working, too. Stop by the garden to see the vegetables that are growing! Today, May 23, we will eat lettuce, kale, radishes and spinach.

Each year, the goal of sustainable science is to embed the knowledge that the students have in their extremely strong science Montessori curriculum into the immediate world around us. What season are we in, and what are we seeing in the garden and woods? Exactly what live critters are in the soil? Which ones can I safely hold (earthworms, mealworms, sow bugs) and which ones do we leave alone (spiders, centipedes)? Applying knowledge to the here and now is exhilarating.

Each year, TMS students rotate through directly handling science resources that are brought to school from my “gatherings”: sets of seashells, fossils and rocks, a nature set, magnifiers, and paper-making supplies. Earlier this year, we increased our understanding of recycling. We now have a papier-mâché map of TMS showing sea level elevation of TMS and the woods. We also made craft paper from discarded “recycled” paper. Some of the paper was used in spectacular art with Mrs. Cooper!

So, highlights? All those teachable moments that children experience in the garden, woods, making their own piece of paper, matching the fossil in hand with the timeline of life, and more.

And the big picture? Woods/garden/rain garden/rain barrel/nature inside and out/making paper and a new deer fence.

Thanks TMS! See you next year! Dottie