Over the years, FMS has had many green thumbs planting flowers, herbs, and plants on campus including the greenhouse. Ms Val manages in the primary outdoor classroom. Last year, there was a concerted effort, led by Ms. Kerri(E6), to partner with Green Our Planet and create a sustainable gardening program. The fruits of her labor are coming to fruition as we see the plants thriving in the new brick planters located in the campus courtyard. Every classroom is represented on the gardening committee and exciting results are starting to bloom.
There are essentially four areas on campus that are dedicated to growing plants: the center courtyard, the east side behind the lower elementary classrooms, the green house in the primary outdoor classroom, and the pollinator garden found outside E6 (upper elementary) on the west side. Each area has its purpose and the students, teachers, and parent volunteers are involved with the maintenance and growth of the areas. In addition, primary classes are focused on creating a sensory garden with plants which feel, taste and smell amazing. We are even considering starting a seed library.
As stated by the committee, The FMS garden is a learning garden. Maria Montessori observed, “When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.” Our garden encourages students to experience the natural world, gain insight into how all living things work together, demonstrate respect, adopt peaceful practices and develop an awareness of personal responsibility for contributing in a positive way to the world. Teachers and staff utilize the garden to facilitate outdoor learning across all domains and school subjects, and to nurture self-reflection, mindfulness, and family engagement. Garden lessons increase opportunities for outdoor learning, support healthy eating, and inspire students to protect, conserve and improve the natural environment around the world. “Education is not something which a teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment.” (Maria Montessori)
As the garden grows, elementary students will participate in professional chef demonstrations using produce from our harvest. Also, be on the lookout for notification of upcoming farmers’ markets where students will be selling items from the garden.