All posts filed under: Featured

Maria’s Market Farm Cart

On Friday afternoons, Junior High students at GMS engage in purposeful active work, which stimulates their intellect, while teaching them about the basic structure of production and exchange, i.e. economy. This program is called the Micro Economy Program. At the beginning of each school year, students apply for jobs based on their interests, talents, and abilities. This is our 5th year running the program as an integrated “Farm to Fork” business, with branches in Research and Development, Design and Fabrication, Finance, Tribal Council, an on-site Restaurant, and a Farm Team. To read more about the Micro Economy Program Click Here. Last year the Farm Team submitted a proposal to the Design and Fabrication Team to build a mobile market where produce from the gardens, eggs, and student art could be sold. The Design Team jumped at the project, pledging to retrofit an old trailer bed generously donated by garden manager Aubrey Cupit into a functional and beautiful “Market.” Student Lily Wagoner, under the guidance of her teacher Jonathan McLean, used an application called Sketchup to design the …

Strawberry Smiles

“The strawberries are ready!”  This simple sentence expresses so much joy for all of us at Greensboro Montessori. We weed, water, and wait nearly all year until these gems glisten like rubies every spring. And every spring, we prepare some delicacy to mark the occasion, be it strawberry shortcake, strawberry salad and strawberry dressing, strawberry ice cream… or this year, strawberry lemonade! We prepared this recipe in Primary classes on rainy spring days this April. Everyone LOVED it. It’s a keeper for our cooking curriculum and we hope it is for yours, too. With love, The Montessori Gardens Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups Strawberries, washed 1 1/2 cups Fresh Lemon Juice (from about 5 lemons) 1 to 1 1/2 cups Sugar 3 cups Cold Water Ice Directions: Puree strawberries with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Force strawberry puree through a sieve to remove seeds (optional) Stir together the strawberry puree, remaining lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and water in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Taste! Add more sugar if desired. Serve over …

Carolina Gold Rice: Lessons in History

In spring 2015, Upper Elementary students planted Carolina Gold Rice in their permaculture garden. That fall, they threshed and winnowed the harvest as they discussed its history and origins in West Africa. They used a mortar and pestle like West African women did to hull the rice. Our students read about how these women, like those fed by the rice they prepared, were slaves bound for the Americas. They commented on how difficult it was to hull even a quarter cup (in an hour!) and imagined what months of such labor might feel like. In the year since we first planted and harvested Carolina Gold Rice with Upper Elementary students, I have read and researched more and more about its history. I recently came across a piece written by culinary historian, and grower of African and African-American heirloom crops, Michael Twitty. Twitty, whose work has been internationally recognized for years as a prominent voice in food justice, gives us a true and untold timeline of Carolina Gold (Oryza glaberrima), which dates from 3,500 B.C.E. along the West African Niger and Casamance rivers. …

Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) 2017

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Permaculture? Do you wish you had flourishing gardens with fruit tree’s, herbs, and abundant fresh vegetables growing in your front or backyard like the ones at Montessori? Permaculture (short for permanent agriculture) teaches you to get the most out of space, filling it with useful and edible plants, all to the benefit of the land. Humans reap the rewards on so many levels – juicy fresh blackberries or a warm vine ripe tomato, the cool shade on a warm summer day offered by a plum tree, butterflies and birds attracted to the garden by flowers and food, the gift of hours quietly working in the garden. And then there’s the fact that there’s nothing more satisfying to the soul than cooking with food you’ve grown yourself! If this sounds exciting to you, then you may be interested in taking a Permaculture Design Certification course. Jenny Kimmel, longtime gardening teacher at GMS, and the Land-Lab Coordinator, is offering a 72 hour Certification that will teach you not only the …

“Be Keepers”

Friday morning was truly a riotous affair for several Upper Elementary students. Why? It marked the first session of a new Beekeeping elective 10 students are participating in. After discussing the basics of beekeeping in the fall, students got geared up and had their very first hands-on view of our hives behind the Middle School building. Check out what Upper El mother and photographer extraordinaire, Aris Wells, captured that morning. Thank you Aris! Stay turned for more information and Greensboro Montessori gardening adventures. In the meantime, remember that to “be a keeper” of bees is more fun with friends. Thanks for your continued support. Post comments and questions below!  

Edible (and useful) Spring Weeds

In a permaculture garden there are many plants providing myriad functions. Have you ever wondered how we maintain such abundant gardens without the use of pesticides that seem to flourish in all seasons? One of the ways that we do this is to utilize nature to support itself. For example, many “weeds” or things that people consider to be weeds actually blossom and bring in beneficial insects and pollinators, or mine for minerals deep in the soil, bringing nutrients to the surface.  This is an important concept in permaculture for healthy thriving ecologically diverse gardens, so we brought the lesson to the classroom while working recently. In Lower-Elementary we had A LOT of spring weeds we needed to catch up with. We noticed while weeding that the most prolific of these was Purple Hen Bit (Lamium amplexicaule.) This purple flower is among the earliest bloomers and therefore one of the first food sources for honey bees. We explained that we leave these valuable weeds in the garden until after other nectar and pollen sources begin to …