The Otto Specht School Blog

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Farm and Garden: Winter Update

Fall harvest is winding down in the fields of Duryea Farm at the Fellowship Community. Otto Specht third graders along with farm educator, Jose Romero Bosch, finished bringing in the last of the lettuce they planted earlier this fall before winter snows set in. As the weather outside turns cold, however, and the ground begins to freeze, inside the greenhouses warm temperatures and healthy soil allow us to continue growing and providing fresh produce to the members of the Fellowship Community. This fall, students threshed seeds they had saved from last year’s crops. Now, Greenhouse 2 is filled with vibrant beds of rainbow chard, radishes, and a variety of lettuces grown from these seeds. Just last week, high school and middle school students planted over 300 more radishes and 125 more lettuces, which will be greatly enjoyed at midwinter meals.

For our school, winter is not a time of barrenness and indoor days. As greenhouses continue to produce fresh food, last year’s harvests from our Therapeutic herb garden are being used to create products that will help keep us healthy all year. Students have made sachets of fragrant, healing herbs and balms and salves with calendula and herbs. Second graders made a variety of teas from their garden and are now working to build raised beds for next year’s crops. Dr. Johnson made many blends of healing teas and was able to sell several bags at the annual Fellowship Holiday Fair while still saving enough for use at the Fellowship.

Through the cycle of seasons, our students learn and develop skills that connect them to each other and to the natural world, that foster connections to other academic lessons, and that provides nourishing food for the greater community. As the warmth of summer lives on deep inside the earth while the outside is barren and still, we offer gratitude that we are able to be a part of the cycle of the year through our outdoor and agricultural education.