Monday, June 27, 2011

An Introduction

      Nestled on the hillside behind the school's main campus and playing fields is the Kimberton Waldorf Schools' two-acre garden. There you will find our vegetable garden which contains tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash, beans, potatoes and much, much more. The produce is used to provide organic ingredients to our "Food For Thought Garden to Kitchen" lunch program which strives to obtain locally and organically grown produce. The garden also contains eight curved beds called the "Herb Circle" with many varieties of culinary and medicinal herbs used for teas, salves, or as nectar and foliage sources for butterflies, bees and caterpillars. There are of 60 fruit trees in the garden, almost all espaliered in "fan", "Belgian Fence" or "Tunnel" designs. It has become our tradition for the community to gather for a day in August each year to harvest, wash and cook baskets and baskets of apples for applesauce which is then frozen for later use in our lunch program.
      The Garden also contains a dye garden in which our handwork teachers harvest roots, leaves and flowers of dye plannts to color their yarns which the students will then use to knit, crochet and weave into beautiful and useful objects such as hats, scarves or pouches. At the far corner of the garden, you'll find six hives of honey bees, each colored in its own pastel shade with busy bees quickly flying in and out.
      During the school year, our garden is maintained by our students who walk across the fields for "gardening class." They sow the seeds, create raised beds, prune, transplant, water, weed, and mulch. By the time school lets out in early June, the garden has been transformed from a barren space into a beautiful and productive oasis. But who takes care of the garden during the summer when school is out? That's what this blog is all about.

      -Celia Martin
       Gardening Teacher/ Summer Boss
       "I am so happy to have help in the garden this summer. I have been the garden's teacher at KWS for three years and maintaining the garden over the summer has always been a challenge. It is great to have our own students caring for the garden and getting this great experience of seeing the garden from spring through summer and into the fall. We will work hard, get dirty, and learn a lot."

      -Karen Flores
       KFS/KWS Graduate, Class of '79, Manager for "Food For Though Garden to Lunch Program"
       "I am working with Celia, Julia, Colin, Carly and the Triskeles group in the School Garden to be a part of the whole process of garden seeding to plant to harvest to kitchen to lunch to compost and back to the garden."

      -Julia Noack
       KWS Student, Class of 2011
      "I am a graduate of Kimberton Waldorf School, class of 2011,and I will be attending Juniata College in the fall. I have volunteered many hours over the years at the KWS Garden, working with the plants, birds, and honey bees. I have always had a huge love for organic gardening, having grown up with a large garden myself, and wanted to pass on that love to as many people as possible."

       -Carly Landis
       KWS Student, Class of 2012
       "As an upcoming senior at the KWS High School, the garden has always been my favorite part of the campus. Working with the crops is not only therapeutic, but it also permits my understanding of botany to flourish. Plants facinate me, and having the opportunity to experience the garden's development from spring to fall is awe-inspiring. Not only am I glad to see the growth in myself, but I am thrilled to be surrounded by my fantastic co-workers. We have a lot of memories to share and there is never a dull moment. Knowing that our hard work is going for a good cause (our Food For Thought Program and our local community) makes every energy-filled bead of sweat fall like a deserved gift. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the summer!"

      -Colin MacKenzie
       KWS Student, Class of 2012,
       "I am one of the gardeners and I am also a student of Kimberton Waldorf School. I wanted to work in the garden to have some extra time working in the soil just like I did during the school year in gardening class. For me, the garden is probably the only thing that will get a high school student like myself up and out of bed at 7 AM on my summer vacation. This garden is an amazing place, and everyone deserves to see it."

      -Tamara Griffen
      Summer Gardener
      "I attend Owen J. Roberts High School. I will be going into my senior year. This year will be my fourth year in the Food For Thought Program. The program insires me to make healthy choices and look at gardening as a benefit for our society."

      -Megan Hester
       Summer Gardener
      "I just graduated from High School this June, and I will be attending college in the fall. In my spare time, I love to read and play around with different types of music, but I love science. I am doing this program because I like working with people who work really hard to prosper the lives of local and non-local people."

      -Edward von Mehlen
       Summer Gardener
       "I'm 16 years old and I will be a junior in High School next year. This is my first year working here and I hope it will be a good experience. I live in Philadelphia so normally I wouldn't be able to do this, but I am staying at Jacob's house for most of the summer."

      -Jacob Tucker
       KWS Graduate, Class of 2011
       "I just graduated from Kimberton Waldorf School and I'm taking a gap year. During my gap year I will be a part of World-Wide Organic Opportunities Farming in Italy. I like programs like this one because I get to see all of my hard work pay off."

      -Willie Williams
       Summer Gardener
       "I just graduated from Owen J. Roberts High School this year. This is my fourth year in the Food For Thought Program and I like doing this program because I get the chance to cook. I like cooking what we have harvested for other people."

Our beehives

Our Crew

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