The Princeton Montessori Farm to School program is in its 6th year. The purpose of the program is to connect students to the land, have them learn about where food comes from and gain awareness of healthier food choices, and become stewards of their local environment. This year’s Farm-to-School programming has been virtual.
Lower Elementary students learned all about how everyone and everything on the farm has a role, including the livestock manager, chickens, sheep, pigs, barn cats, and a livestock guardian dog. They also learned about what livestock needs, farm animal ecosystem services (like fertilizer and soil regeneration), the digestive system of ruminants, the chicken hatching process, and how to move animals using electric fencing, among many other things!
In Upper Elementary, students studied the various methods of mushroom production, including monotub cultivation and the inoculation of wood chip patches, mushroom logs, and stumps, all of which help with tree farmer revenue, soil health regeneration, and forest health.Farmer Walt Gregory taught Middle School students about organic farming and its benefits to the environment. Farmer Walt ran a “Pizza Farm” for many years (pictured below). He has been an organic farmer for decades and has lots of stories about how crops can be grown without synthetic chemicals if one knows the right organisms to include, how to rotate crops, etc.