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Farm-to-School Week

By October 17, 2019Uncategorized

The week before our Fall Festival focused on promoting student understanding of food and nutrition in all our programs. The Farm to School program at Princeton Montessori School is an experiential learning opportunity for children in Toddler trough Middle School. Our students gain knowledge about food sourcing and farming, current global issues about our food system relative to nutrition, cost, and availability; and advocacy skills in ensuring access to nutritious, locally-sourced food. Through hands-on experiences working on a farm, in-school lab experiences related to farming and food and relationships with local farmers, students use their critical and creative thinking skills to collaborate on solutions-based concepts to address challenges in the global food system.  An emphasis on ensuring healthy foods, healthy bodies, and a healthy planet is central to our work with students, farmers, staff and parents. As a result, program participants gain awareness of healthier food choices, expand their knowledge and network of local farmers, and become stewards of their local environment.

In the Toddler classrooms the children looked at different kinds and colors of apples and then tasted them. They also talked about animals that you might see on a farm, who lives in a barn, and were milk comes from. 

The Primary children have an abundance of apple work out on the shelves. They tasted and compared different apple types and talked about where some foods come from. They learned about the life cycle of the apple, sequencing real pictures from seed to fruit and also using a felt board to tell the story. They made booklets identifying the parts of apple and read many food and farm related books. A friend from Lower Elementary visited the Rose Room and read “Eating the Alphabet” to several children.

The Lower Elementary students are studying seeds in Biology class. They explored many seed varieties and marveled at the diverse shapes and sizes, from the coconuts to milkweed. This week they turned their attention to corn, a monocotyledon seed of the large grass family. Each student had a plate of popping corn to examine. They tried to remove the yellow pericarp unsuccessfully and discussed how this protects the seed from deterioration. Later they had some fun popping the corn to remove the outermost covering and to expose the delicious cotyledon, realizing that food for the seed is also food for us. The students got a good laugh and thought how funny it would be to go to the movies and ask for a big tub of yummy buttered cotyledon!
Other Lower Elementary farm related classroom work included; the Life cycle of a pumpkin, Using farmers market vegetables to learn about tally marks, and naming farm nouns.

During the week of our Harvest Fall Festival the Upper Elementary ecology students had a special cooking project to promote student understanding of food sourcing, farms and nutrition-related to fall offerings. Two types of pumpkins were contrasted, one for carving and one for making pies. In the spirit of Montessori, the students cooked for each other as a community activity. Each class baked mini pumpkin pies  for the group which would be meeting on the following day. Our last class of the week carved the remaining pumpkins and roasted the seeds to share for school snack.

Middle School students worked on designing a logo for the Farm to School program. They each came up with an idea and then voted on the winning design. The logo will be used on future Farm to School newsletters and promotional materials.


Please contact Alex Cardona, Parent Association Farm to School Program Chair, if you have any questions about the Farm to School program at Princeton Montessori School. View our Farm to School information sheet.

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