Our Garden

    Garden History:
    In March of 2009 Community Montessori parents, students, teachers and staff worked together with Growe Foundation staff to build an organic garden in the courtyard.  

    The spring of 2009 was Community Montessori's first season.  Students harvested salad greens and prepared salad dressings with the help from the chefs at The Kitchen (See Salad Dressing Recipes​). ​The salad and dressings were served to all students on the Harvest Bar.  The activity was a great success, with the youngest and the oldest students working side by side.  

    The garden was ripe with vegetables and activity during the fall of 2009.  Many students harvested vegetables and made salsa, zucchini bread and pesto with parent volunteers.  Others picked cherry tomatoes or nasturtiums and ate them right out of the garden (after washing them of course).  Every student in the school got to sample squash soup that parent chef, Marie Nicolett,i cooked with vegetables from the garden and student help.

     Gardens: The Montessori Way

    ​Below is a quote from a Montesorri School teacher in the 1930s**

    “Our children gardened, sometimes an hour a day. The materials were always there: wheelbarrows, rakes, hoes, shovels, spades, watering cans, and baskets. Chi​ldren chose the activity. And of course, all knowledge takes off from gardening. You must choose a place for your garden. It must be flat, or the rain will roll away from the seeds. Let’s measure the space that can be well taken care of as opposed to a garden too big for total attention. Find a place in the sun. Plants need sunlight to make food. What to plant? Foods for salad, foods for soup, and foods to eat right off the plant—all these make a garden of variety. The work that the children enjoy most is harvesting, and because our school went nearly year around, the children would reap what they sowed.

    Through cooking, children are introduced to a whole new world of sensations—tastes, smells, colors, textures, blending and changing—all that cooking entails. They are given the opportunity to explore the otherwise forbidden realm of knives and fires. Working with the tools of cooking develops manual dexterity. And of course cooking and eating is an occasion for interaction with one another.
    We had a full-course meal daily. We ate with the children and discussed their experiences in the parks, museums, their parties, etc. They talked about future events and past events, always making laughter and jokes. The eating and talking alone usually took an hour.

    Introduction of foods and their preparation is still another form of sensory exploration. Noodle-making, bread-making, peeling, cutting, grinding, chopping, slicing, grating, squeezing—these are not only ways of extracting from nature what you need to eat, but great builders of hand-eye coordination, sequence and social life.”

    **(Margot Waltuch, 1996, describing a day at the Montessori school where she taught during the years 1933 to 1938.) Waltuch, M. (1996). The casa of Sevres, France. The Journal, 21 (3), 43-54.​