There is a good bit of interest in various components of the farm on the part of many of the students. For some, I think their naturalist intelligence awakens as they observe, investigate and experiment in the many different ways the farm can provide. Bugs, bees and butterflies fascinate the students. They love to smell the different herbs and they take such pride in growing and harvesting the vegetables they have planted.
A few years ago, one of the 4th grade students I worked with at the farm spent the summer turning his backyard into a botanical and horticultural garden center.
He planted his own vegetables and became particularly fascinated with the caterpillars as they matured in to butterflies. He eagerly volunteered the following year as a 5th grader to demonstrate to the 4th graders how to look for and identify the caterpillars in the garden. Amazing—a 5th grader teaching his younger peers.
The best part is that he turned his tree house into a string of melons of all sizes and shapes growing out of bags of compost dangling from above like hanging lanterns.
Pictured below is John who returned to the farm this summer. John now a 6th grader at New City School and helps across the street at the Central Reform’s Congregation Gateway Greening Garden with his mom.
The farm provides for many students the opportunity to make a difference through their use of the Naturalist Intelligence.