Waldorf educators value and foster naturalistic intelligence defined by Harvard Educator Howard Gardner as “being in tune with nature – able to explore the environment, find patterns, and easily categorize differences.”
Waldorf’s founder Rudolf Steiner understood the importance of gardening and felt that, “the garden work should be an obligatory addition to the lessons.”
We at Spring Garden agree and our third graders, now off and running intellectually and physically, are ready to put a cultivated love and understanding of nature into action.
Last year, with the help of a generous donation from Whole Foods, the third grade garden thrived after buying seeds, soil amendments, irrigation, floating row covers, & tools. All the gardening, done organically, yielded a bounty for harvest this fall — three kinds of beans, summer and winter squash, radishes, tomatoes,peas, peppers,carrots, kale, sunflowers.
At the start of this school year, our once third graders, now beginning fourth grade, finished harvesting the garden they planted last spring. On September 6, they cooked the harvest and shared it with this year’s third graders for lunch. Third grade students got to eat a bounty of healthful organic food including stewed tomatoes and green beans, butternut squash soup, and red cabbage slaw.
Our fourth graders also saved the seeds from the harvested plants and gave them to the third grade to use when planting their garden this spring. This Spring Garden tradition of seed to table gardening, allows our third grade class to experience first hand the delicious result of the gardening lesson block before they begin their own gardening journey.