Working with the land is a key component of Montessori education at every level. In the Primary years, the garden serves as a place to learn the first elements of biology in the most natural way – children plant a sunflower seed, tend their seedlings as they sprout, and then watch them grow to full sunflowers.
As they move into Elementary, these lessons become more complex, and the students implement their classroom work on the life cycle of plants to tend full gardens, and then practice their practical life skills and grace and courtesy lessons by turning the bounty of their harvest into meals for their classmates and teachers.
In the Adolescent Program the farm is fully integrated into daily life, and is the vehicle for lessons on everything from animal husbandry and agriculture to math, science and economics. The students farm, harvest and sell their crops, and tend to chickens, goats, bees, and even a llama. They learn firsthand the meaning of the farm-to-table process. At this age, the farm provides the adolescent with the means to develop his or her independence, confidence and meaningful participation in the community.