The twenty-acre EWS Farm is a place where preschoolers walk with and observe nature, where grade school students grow, sample, prepare, and sell produce, and where high school students study and build projects that encourage a responsible balance between nature and technology.
Working with the Earth is enlightening for all grades, but beginning in third grade, it is especially helpful with “the nine-year change,” which is when children typically begin to feel that they are separate from the rest of the world.
This is a big change for a child, and gardening is a way in which the third grader can bond again with the Earth, but now as an individual. At this age, children have a need to feel valuable and important, and to enjoy the satisfaction of being productive. Learning about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is easy when counting eggs and selling produce.
In a society dominated by cell phones, television, and the internet, the forces pushing us towards alienation from nature are certainly alluring. During adolescence, young people can go through a passage of alienation or experience a loss of purpose. This sense of alienation may have something to do with our detachment from the earth itself. Helping to teach the younger students, or working in groups on projects that emphasize a balance between nature and technology, can help to unite high school students with nature and their community.
The EWS Farmer's Market is held periodically throughout the school year as vegetables are available. Be sure to check it out for everything from tomatoes, to fresh herbs, to portobello mushrooms and honey from our very own bee hives! See Newsletter for details.